Spanish Football League Will Finally Embrace Video Refereeing
Technology is at a stage now where it can be used instantly to analyse a sporting event at the time it happened. In sports across the globe this has been implemented to great effect and reduced human error on important calls. The most obvious example is in tennis where Hawkeye has made John McEnroe tantrums over line calls a novelty that happened before the open era. Indeed Hawkeye has changed the way tennis is played as players can now use it to challenge line calls. Yet in the world of football there has been a resistance to employ goal line technologies and video referees for fear of breaking with tradition.
The Spanish La Liga is one of the world’s biggest football leagues with two of the biggest clubs playing in it: Barcelona and Real Madrid. While the clubs may be playing some of the most advanced football in the world the league is lagging behind in their goal line technology and a few weeks ago the problem came to the fore again. The Guardian reported that defending champions Barcelona were denied a goal that could have led them to victory after the ball had been cleared out of the goal by a defender. However a closer look showed that the ball had already crossed the line before the defender had got to it. Without goal line technology the referee incorrectly disallowed the goal and Barcelona ended the game with a draw that has damaged their title hopes.
In response to the disallowed goal, ABC News informs that La Liga officials have pledged to introduce video referees into their top tier football by 2018. The excuse given for not implementing it sooner was that it was too expensive. Other football leagues in Europe have embraced the technology including the Premier League. While Barcelona will be glad that their disallowed goal might change the sport in Spain, the technology won’t change the poor performance they gave during the match with journalist Jack Lang noting that the team was lucky to even get a draw in his article for Betfair who also cover the Champions League extensively as well as La Liga.
Technological advancements in sport such as video replays haven’t always been met with enthusiasm and some sports fans have argued that they have got in the way of the match. Give Me Sport have noticed that while in many cases the Television Match Official (TMO) in rugby has helped reduce the amount of gaming changing fouls it has also slowed the game down. A rugby match is at its most exciting when it is flowing, yet in recent years games have ground to a halt as the referee confers with the TMO for a decision. Of course if a try is awarded that shouldn’t have been then the referees get the blame for not confirming with the TMO.
Now that the La Liga will finally embrace the technology in 2018 this should see a time in football where championships and finals are not lost because of poor refereeing. Just think what would have happened in England’s 1986 match against Argentina if the referee could have gone back and watched Maradona punch the ball into the net on the video replay.
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