It’s a rush of adrenaline, it’s a second or two of mass hysteria. Thousands of people rising to their feet in unison. Fists punching the air, voices and heart rates raised to new levels an almost primal reaction.
On the other hand it’s despair, crusher of hopes dreams and ambitions. Peering through fingers in disbelief often at the very people who are ardently celebrating your ineptitude. You’ve been here before, so have they. They know, so they are savouring their moment in the sun.
It’s a GOAL.
Or is it, did it cross the line? Was he offside?
Surely that was a foul ref. Are you blind?
Today, QPR scored a goal. But it will in the fullness of time be forgotten. This goal will never be recorded in the QPR history books, because even though the ball crossed the white line of destiny (the goal line) the goal was not given. The linesman said it did not cross the line.
QPR went on to lose 2-1. Denial of what was a clear goal may have cost them dear. My own club Reading have also been involved in a controversial non-goal. As you can see the ball goes nowhere near the goal, and yet we scored!
So the FA have announced they want video technology to be introduced. Is this a good thing? I have to admit I am torn. On one hand, it should ensure a fairer game, but where do you stop? If there is a foul in the build up to a goal, does that get appealed and sent for review? If not why is this “non-goal” given less important than any other.
The referral system works excellently in many sports, notably cricket. It also proves that 95% of the time umpires are correct. It works in cricket because it is a stop-start game, with only a few variables to check. In football there are very few breaks in play, and even expert summarisers with the 300 cameras Sky have on each game still cannot come to a consensus. Then of course there is the beautiful game itself.
One of the reasons football is so popular is it’s simplicity. A ball is just about the only piece of equipment you need. It is played on a amateur level world wide by millions. The same game. The likes of FC Barcelona can afford HD cameras on the goal line, HD cameras up both of Lionel Messi’s nostrils if they want. FC Dog ’n’ Duck cannot.
Now in English football we have the greatest cup contest in the world. The FA Cup. The reason why I love it is that amateur sides can enter. They can go from 9 people watching them play at their home ground to 76,000 people watching them play at Old Trafford against Man Utd. Now what if FC Dog ‘n’ Duck held Man Utd to a draw at Old Trafford and they brought them to their ground behind the local Lidl’s. Barry a welder by trade, Ducks centre forward through on goal, smashes it to the top left, it hits the bar and bounces down. Is it over the line? Who knows? No cameras on the goal line. Whereas if a similar goal was scored at Old Trafford the whole would know, and no-one would have anything to write about, blog about, or talk about.
That’s the other thing about football. It is a soap opera. A game of opinions like no other. Do we really want Siri to tell us if that was a goal or not, or do we want officials who are human who will occasionally get it wrong sometimes.. just like the players.