First Past the Post

When the biggest clash of the season between two of the biggest club rivals of all time gets marred by a linesman’s sleepwalking mistake, Gino de Blasio wonders why the beautiful game can’t have this simple touch of technology

I originally wrote this piece for my blog, only moments following a game so tense coal would turn to diamonds and so defile of the Italian league that prose and match analysis have taken a wild beast of the situation. The thing I realise about football everyday and as the years pass before me, is that, it truly is a global game, where the ramifications are more than just one man and his thoughts (even including his assistants), but those of a joined community in the 21st century.

My problem wasn’t and still isn’t that it was my team involved, nor the colours of Juventus FC that were in this whole debacle of what otherwise was an entertaining game. No, my quarrel is with the higher echelons of power in football, and more precisely the lack of video technology in football. There have been some “difficulties” cited in implementation but I believe that the pain of implementing this will far outweigh any that comes from having to endure stinkers.

My Thoughts

We live in a world of instant communication, smartphones, social media, men to the moon and back. We live in a world of 24 hour news, video cameras on and in everything, global transactions with the push of a button and applications.

And yet, in this very same world we have no answer, yes no answer to whether a ball has crossed a line or not.


What the linesman is doing I shall never know

It goes to show how far behind the times FIFA and UEFA are. It really does. We are relying on humans to do the job that a computer has a purpose for.

Is it any surprise that the weekend after this incident, there were two very similar instances in Serie A, and the referee’s assistants did give the goal? It seems the pressure applied at the time by media, football teams and even the referees’ association had an impact but it seems even more evident that one man can’t be tasked with such a job – they are, like all human beings, fallible.

And so for me, the question remains; the more these associations strive to keep football away from technology, the more we search for an answer as to why.

A Call to the Twitter World

I thought to ask one of the outlets of this new technology world to see what my peers thought of it all. Here were just some thoughts:


It’s absolutely necessary and simple to implement. Coaches should be allowed 2 challenges per game (NFL) to go to video replay.”


thats (goal line technology) the only case id put technology on football”


Goal line tech=waste of cash&time. TV evidence & 3officials in the stands in coms with officials when called upon. Easy solution 4 all”

Whilst I can agree with some of the statements and thoughts, I think what is evident is that people want it on the whole, it seems only the echelons don’t.

My Answer

I said this 13 or so years ago at school after watching a tennis match. “Why can’t we have a sensor in the ball, one in the cross bar that goes over the line, when the ball goes beyond the line, a light flashes behind the goal to say it went in”. You can see why I never took science and technology up after that comment, but the basic theory was there.

Is it the perfect solution? Probably not. But all I want is to see something introduced to take doubt away from the game in something so manageable.

Final Thoughts

All we, as football fans want is a fair game. Milan vs. Juventus showed that. Yes, Juventus had probably an offside called against them that they shouldn’t, and I am not asking to solve that question either. Offside is harder, can probably still be done by computers, but this… this is simple.

A simple solution to take away doubt, restore some sanity and leave football looking great as ever.

* Title courtesy: @ginkers – grazie amico!

About Gino de Blasio

Gino de Blasio studiously analyses Italian and English football. He has recently become a qualified coach and talks tactics until the cows come home. You can follow him on twitter @ginodb