FIFA to use goal-line technology at World Cup; should other sports follow suit?


Even though it’s my favorite sport, I don’t cover too much soccer (feels weird saying that) or futbol, as I prefer to call it but I liked this news coming out from FIFA. This morning news came out that after a successful trial at the Cub WC in Japan last year, FIFA will be using goal line technology for the Confederations Cup this year, the World Cup in Brazil next seson and one assumes all major tournaments going forward. The program will be known as GLT (goal line technology) and here’s an ESPN article that explains the detail a bit more and the companies that have already been used and other companies that are submitting their own for consideration. For non soccer fans, one of the major reasons FIFA pushed the technology is because of a match between England and Germany last World Cup that included a very obvious goal that was missed by officials. That was an extremely rare situation but when the stage is that big, leagues must be ready to fix the situation and must have the technology ready at hand. So this news presents the question: should the NFL, MLB and even the NBA use it as an example and make changes in their leagues?

This question presents multiple scenarios for each league but I think the most obvious would be the NFL using the same type of goal line technology on scoring plays, presumably most would occur while the player is running. Not so much to do with catches, where things like two feet in and control throughout the catch matter. But how many times has a goal line play been unclear to replay cameras because of the pile of bodies? The NFL already uses tons of time to review a certain play so why not add technology that would make things go quicker and smoother? It’s about being progressive and using the technology available to make the game fair for equal teams. I don’t even want to get into how much it could benefit baseball, who seems to be living in the 80s and only uses replay to review whether or not a ball is fair/foul or if it’s a home run. Maybe some sort of touch technology that determines if a runner or a catcher touches home plate first? Seems like a those 1v1 home plate situations are just as important as a ball being fair or foul.

I’m not one to say that humans should just keep having less and less control as technology either. Human objectivity is impossible to replace but technology can help minimize the mistakes that referees make and help with calls that can’t be determined by constant replay on HD cameras. I don’t know if or when we’ll see this type of technology expand into the major sports of the US but i’m all for heading in that direction.