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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Goal Line Cameras Tested Next Sunday in Udine

As with the rest of the world, soccer is affected by technology. For many years, some have been calling for computerized advances to help the men and women in black who officiate the games. Next Sunday in Udine, during the game between Udinese and Reggina, goal line cameras will be tested.

Some have argued to place a microchip in the ball; however, this new technology implements four cameras that are situated about 20 meters above each corner flag. According to Mr. Arcangelo Distante, who is directing the test, "It is an automatic system that doesn't depend on the human eye and is more accurate than putting a microchip inside a ball." Should the experiment prove to be successful, FIFA may implement the system next year during the Under 17 and Under 20 tournaments held in South Korea and Canada, respectively.

As far back as the 1966 World Cup final, debates have ensued over whether "the whole ball is over the whole line." For North Americans new to soccer, this law of the game is often confused with the usual standard of "touching the line and the ball is deemed out of play." Adding technology may bring a conclusive decision to controversial calls. But do we want to remove the human element from the game? Or have a situation, similar to the NFL, where the game is stopped for several minutes to review a play?

Only time will tell, but I would like to hear Sir Geoff Hurst's opinion on the matter. He scored the extra time goal against West Germany that people still debate 40 years later. Here is a video replay. What do you think? Was the entire ball over the entire line?

Geoff Hurst's Goal In Extra Time: WC Final 1966

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