With the footballers of Europe’s major leagues taking a deserved break from ball kicking – turning their attention instead to beaches, fatty foods and googling ways to say ‘I am moving to Anzhi Makhachkala/Shanghai Shenua/ Queens Park Rangers for sporting reasons’ without bursting out laughing – it would seem that the powers within the game have decided to focus on ideological battles for the time being. The debate sparked by Sepp Blatter’s sudden rush to embrace goal-line technology asks searching questions over what, exactly, we want football to be for.
Blatter apparently underwent his epochal change of heart after witnessing the frustration of England having a perfectly good goal chalked off, and then the even more galling sight of England being denied the chance to concede a suspiciously offside strike. FIFA have ordered trails of both the Hawk-Eye and GoalRef systems (in a boon for lovers of compound nouns everywhere), and both technologies look like they may have something cool to offer the game.
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