Of the goal line technology debate and El Clasico
DID the ball cross the line or did it not? That was the big question last weekend after the FA Cup semi-final clash between Chelsea and Spurs. The question of whether the ball crossed the line has revived the debate about the introduction of goal line technology. Top Fifa officials, who had held hard-line positions about the introduction of the technology have seemingly mellowed and it now seems that it’s a question of when and not if the technology will be introduced.
I am of the opinion that goal line technology should not be rushed for the sake of it. It’s true that referees need help to make accurate and fair decisions, and concerns need to be responded to urgently and effectively. Uefa have introduced extra officials behind the goals and I think Fifa should be interested to explore this system before it jumps to answer the calls to introduce goal line technology.
Fifa president Sepp Blatter was the face of the opposition of goal line technology but his credibility took a beating following the public fallout in the Fifa elections and his misadvised comments about fighting racism. He seems to have lost the will to fight off the goal line technology crusade. Blatter’s opposition to the technology was informed by his desire to standardise football rules the world over. Introduction of technology in some countries and not others would no doubt create inequality. I bet that if Fifa adopts goal line technology the Kenya Premier League would only be able to install it at the Kasarani, City and Nyayo Stadiums. I think alternative options should be considered before football adopts goal line technology.
Today is a football feast. Arsenal vs Chelsea promises to give us a real treat. Both sides have had their fair share of struggles and triumph in recent games. Arsenal lost to Wigan on Monday night, stalling their resurgence while Chelsea have managed to put their Andre Villas-Boas days behind them. Chelsea are now in the FA Cup final and they have a crucial advantage against Barcelona leading up to their Champions League return match at the Nou Camp.
I think Arsenal should be wary of Chelsea and especially Didier Drogba. The Ivorian is still Chelsea’s most consistent player and the fact that he has a good record against Arsenal could make this game uncomfortable viewing for Arsenal fans. Arsenal, on the other hand, will be happy to welcome back Laurent Koscielny who has finished serving his suspension. I think we are guaranteed a spectacular match.
The Arsenal vs Chelsea game will be one of the series of curtain raiser games before the icing on the cake—Barcelona vs Real Madrid. Both teams come into this crucial game on the back of humbling defeats in the Champions League semi-finals. When both sides meet there’s one thing that is always at stake: pride.
Both clubs boast of some of the best talents in world football who relish in playing in big games such as this. I think the difference between the two clubs has been psychological. Guardiola has instilled belief in his players about their ability and their way of play, which is the reason why Barcelona have always shown mental composure compared to Madrid when El Clasico comes along.
Once again, all eyes will be on Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. I once mentioned in a past column about this fixture that whoever plays for the team and not for himself will be the winner; this will no doubt be the case today.