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Lampard v Platini on goal-line technology

England Disallowed Goal V Germany

Chelsea ace Frank Lampard has given his approval of the new goal-line technology introduced in the Club World Cup the Blues are currently competing for in Japan.

The England international described the GoalRef and Hawkeye systems that are being unveiled in the competition as “magic”, and insisted he was looking forward to the “exciting” prospect of its introduction.

“We all want calls to be 100 per cent right, whether it goes for or against your team and it will clarify what has happened to everyone - and it will be pretty exciting.”

Lampard understands more than most how important these introductions could be on the sport – he was denied a ‘phantom goal’ in England’s World Cup 2010 defeat to old foes Germany.

He spoke candidly to Sky Sports of his goal that never was,

“Of course, it was such a high-profile game in the World Cup, England against Germany, and such a blatant case of the ball crossing the line. It made everybody sit up and take notice a bit.”

Call for goal-line technology from managers and players alike have been dismissed for a number of years due to reservations from officiating bodies such as FIFA and UEFA over the expense of introducing the technology as uniform – it would be a significant drain on the budgets of lower-league clubs.

FIFA are employing two different systems in Yokohama and Toyota City – one is a microchip-based system, much like a coil implanted inside the ball that corresponds with a set of low frequency magnetic waves that surround the goal.

The other is the Hawk-Eye system, used in other sports like tennis and cricket and, as FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke pre-determined, the systems will eventually be uniform in the Premier League and UEFA Champion’s League competitions. It’s understood there are already calls for it to be used in the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and Confederations Cup next year in Brazil.

But the technology is costing FIFA an estimated $1 million to run both systems in Japan, something that UEFA president Michel Platini feels would create a divide between different levels of the game, based on the financial health at different level within the industry.

Lampard responded,

“I understand Platini is trying to evolve the game rather than bring in drastic changes - that's his prerogative. If you tried to use it everywhere then Platini would be right, but, on this one, I very much think it should be brought in.”

No doubt the debate will continue for at least a few more years but, I’m inclined to think now that the technology is available, it’s only a matter of time before the powers that be succumb to the calls for its implementation – eventually across the board.

images: © Mark Freeman, © Brett Jordan

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