Jon Dunham - Goal-line technology will be the start of unwanted robotic football

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.

I may be in a minority on this one but the introduction of goal-line technology in football raises a number of concerns.

The biggest one being that this one decision is likely to change the face of the ‘beautiful game’ forever because where will it end?

As England fans, we, as a country, can probably relate to goal-line decisions better than anyone.

Lest we forget that had the technology existed in 1966, Geoff Hurst’s second goal that put England 3-2 up on that glorious day at Wembley Stadium wouldn’t have stood. What would have been the outcome if it had been disallowed?

And then, in 2010, Frank Lampard’s shot against Germany clearly crossed the line. The goal would have made it 2-2 and changed the complexion of the game (let’s forget for a moment that Germany battered us and would have won anyway).

The point is that sometimes these things go for you, sometimes they don’t. Surely that is one of the best things about football, or at least I think it is.

But, away from the emotional side of it all and the fact that technology will give fans less to discuss over a pint afterwards, my main concern is what it could all lead to.

I look at cricket, a sport I am a huge fan of and play myself, nowadays and the robotic nature of it at the top level has taken some of its character away.

Yes, decisions are now pretty much 100 per cent correct. But it has all made umpires pretty much pointless. Let’s face it, everyone knows whether a ball has gone for a four or a six and every other decision that needs to be made could be done with players appealing to a computer or camera rather than a human being.

Is this really where football wants to go? Because once one aspect of technology is introduced, you can pretty much guarantee that others will follow.

The very nature of football, particularly at the top level these days, finds manager, players etc trying to find as many excuses as possible for why they may have lost a game. Referees are usually a number one target.

But the statistics will tell you that well over 90 per cent of decisions made by referees and their assistants are correct. And why shouldn’t they be? It is their job after all and they are all very good at what they do.

Goal-line technology is just the start. Once it has been determined that the ball has cross the line beyond any doubt, you can bet your last pound on the fact that a manager will point to an earlier incident leading up to the a goal that video evidence would have proved was a foul or offside or anything else.

Before you know it, every decision will be contested and more carnage than we already get every Saturday afternoon will ensue.

Goal-line decisions don’t happen very often, that is a fact. And when they do, it should be up to the referees and their assistants to call it as they see it.

If technology being introduced is the latest stage of football evolving then it concerns me because it will only be the start of more and more decisions being scrutinised even more than they already are.

If it was up to me, I would leave the game alone on this one. Unfortunately, the decision has already been taken and goal-line technology will be used at next year’s World Cup.

I truly hope I am wrong and this isn’t the start of worse things to come.