For the second time in two weeks, Everton have been on the wrong end of decisions which prevented them from famous away victories against Chelsea and Manchester City.
They were seriously unlucky in both instances. Not because of how they played, but because they were let down by a sport which has just only recently slowly and reluctantly allowed minimal amounts of technology to aid referees in big decisions that may impact the result of matches.
For years there have been calls for video technology in the world’s most played and watched sport to follow in the steps of sports such as NFL, rugby, cricket, tennis, baseball and snooker, where controversy and wrong decisions are few and far between since video replay introduction.
Only within the past five years has the beautiful game seen any movement towards this innovative tool. For instance, in 2013 the Barclays Premier League saw the introduction of Hawk-Eye technology, which is used to help match officials with goal-line decisions.
This change in world football came following an incorrect decision during the 2010 FIFA World Cup knockout stage fixture between England and Germany, when England midfielder Frank Lampard’s strike struck the crossbar, bounced a foot over the line, spun out and was not given as a goal.
This was just minutes before half time and the goal would have made the score 2-2. England eventually lost the game 4-1 and were eliminated.
Credit: Mark James.
Following pressure from countries and media outlets alike, and contrary to his beliefs, president of FIFA Sepp Blatter took a number of steps to finally implement goal-line technology. But this is not enough.
Going back to poor old Everton, and firstly back to the Premier League game at Chelsea two weeks ago. Everton were 3-2 up thanks to a headed goal by centre-back Funes Mori in the 90th minute, who duly celebrated his goal with the Everton fans thinking he had clinched the win.
But in the 98th minute of stoppage time, a long ball nodded on by Chelsea’s Oscar bounced to adventurous skipper John Terry, who back-heeled the ball past a helpless Tim Howard. Terry was at least a yard offside and this cost Everton the double over the Londoners.
Credit: FOOTBALL SOCCER ZONE.
On Wednesday night, Everton went to The Etihad for the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final 2-1 in front. On the night, tied at 1-1 (3-2 on aggregate), City winger Raheem Sterling turned on the afterburners down the left wing and reached the by line, pulled a cross back towards the penalty spot and Kevin De Bruyne finessed the ball into the corner.
The ball that Sterling crossed went over the end line and both officials failed to see it. City went on to score a winner via Sergio Aguero’s head and this crucial mistake effected their chances of reaching an all-Merseyside League Cup Final.
Credit: HQ SoccerNews
Why has the sport been limited to just goal-line technology? Sure, it is probably the most important line on the pitch in terms of goals being scored, but technically offside goals occur across the world multiple times every day. Although the linesmen usually do a terrific job, it is incredibly difficult to get the decision involving the constantly moving offside line correct every time and sometimes the match officials need a hand to get things right because now and again these missed decisions effect the outcome of games, as seen with Everton.
In relation to the second example, the ball was out of play and was brought back into play. Instead of a goal kick, which relieves the pressure that City were putting on Everton, a goal was scored, which changed the entire complexion of the game.
This writer is not asking for video technology to look at penalty decisions, which can be interpreted in several different ways, this writer’s searching for technology which can determine calls that are black and white. Did the ball cross the line or did it not. Or – is a player in an offside position.
There are traditionalists out there who believe that it will disrupt the purity of the game and think the officials are doing an adequate job already, but this writer’s answer is, it only takes one minute for the NFL referees to look at every questionable touchdown play and get things 100 per cent correct. Why can football not be the same?
Brein McGinn, Pundit Arena