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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Football players can make life much easier for refs

The Germans call dodgy goals ‘Wembley goals’ after the infamous Geoff Hurst goal that may or may not have crossed the line in the 1966 World Cup final.

It’s not that Germans are bad losers. They’re rather good at winning. They’ve been to 13 major football finals. We’ve been to er, one. In 1966.

We’ve never looked remotely like we’re capable of getting to another since.

The fact that Hurst went on to score another and England won 4-2 is side-stepped by our continental cousins. They insist ‘the goal that never was’ changed the game.

We had another one at the weekend when Chelsea scored their second in the FA Cup semi-final against Spurs.

Chelsea went on to win 5-1, but the claim by Spurs fans is that the second goal swayed the match. And so the chants have started again for goal line technology to be introduced.

A quick reference to video cameras focused on the goal line would rule categorically whether the ball had crossed it or not. Similar to how they use it in rugby. I think it’s either that or dig a big pit in the goals and if the ball rolls in, it’s a goal.

I don’t think TV technology should be used for other incidents – such as awarding penalties or deciding if a player should be sent off. That is up to the judgement and discretion of the ref. It is hard luck if he gets it wrong. But the actual players can help in this. They can make it easier for the ref.

They can stop cheating, tugging shirts, diving and generally not playing to the spirit of the game. Judging by his performance at the weekend, Ashley Young, bless him, still thinks he can qualify for the Olympics – in the diving pool.

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