The World Cup football tournament that kicks off on June 12 in Brazil represents a momentous advance for the sport, at least as far as the use of technology is concerned. The acceptance by FIFA, the game's international governing body, of the use of goal-line technology (GLT) for the first time should bring an end to the outcome of crucial games being decided by goals falsely awarded or ruled out.
There are certainly misgivings, by fans, pundits, and some national football associations, who contend it is too expensive and could be a slippery slope towards a technology obsessed, stop-start game where every decision -- be it off-side or players diving -- could also justifiably need to be analyzed.
Some even suggest it could lead to sociological consequences. Referees' decisions have long been the source of dispute and acrimony between players, clubs, TV pundits, and most importantly, fans in bars, pubs, and streets around the grounds, and subsequently at home. This is widely accepted as part of the global game.
But the use of a 14-camera-based system located at each end of the pitch -- supplied by British sports technology pioneer Hawk-Eye Innovations to the 20 English Premiere League clubs for the season just ended -- indicates the level of controversy, banter, and even self-righteousness has hardly abated. (The startup was acquired by Sony three years ago).
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