Relating The Debate – The Need for Technology

There has been a lot of discussion following all of the controversial decisions at the 2010 FIFA World Cup with the need for goal-line assistance to prevent any further controversies – but will it ever happen, though?

FIFA was left red in the face as many refereeing decisions were incorrect and cost a few of the countries wins or the chance to advance further in this past summer’s tournament.

Being the international governing body of association football, Fédération Internationale de Football Association needs to get this right or will they run the risk of pushing away new fans of the sport – which could have easily happened this summer.

With the coverage of the biggest soccer tournament in the world on the ESPN family of networks – ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN on ABC – the outreach and exposure made it into many homes across the United States, which has led to the spike in popularity of the sport.

Joseph Blatter, better known as Sepp, has been in charge of the FIFA since 1998, and it does not look like he is any closer to making a decision about the implementation of technology.

FIFA is ran very much like a fraternity, where the appointments of someone always come from within the organization, and very rarely does an outsider ever come in to try to introduce new ideas or change the way of thinking.

To put that point in layman terms for the new fans, FIFA is very similar to how Major League Baseball operates, because Blatter is identical to their commissioner, Allan “Bud” Selig.

Many Americans know the who Pete Rose-gambling debacle inside and out, because of the media speculation every year as to whether he will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame or not, which is quite similar to the technology debate in the world’s sport.

The pride of the owners and the commissioner will prevent that from happening while he is alive, which is how FIFA operates  – despite the outcries from the fans of the sport.

America fans – new or old – experienced the emotional roller coaster with the U.S. MNT in South Africa – from the joys of Landon Donovan’s last-gasp winner against Algeria or the heartbreak of losing to 2-1 Ghana in extra-time, however, the feeling of being cheated was the one feeling that still resides in the minds of supporters.

Amazingly, and with no excuse, the United States was cheated out of two legitimate goals in the group stage, which thankfully did not cost them a spot in the knockout rounds.

Fortunately the Americans finished atop of Group C – ahead of England – but disallowed goals against both Slovenia and Algeria could have cost the United States Soccer Federation millions if they did not proceed from the group, but more importantly killed the faith of the newer fans.

FIFA needs to set their pride aside and introduce some sort of assistance to help referees with goal-line decisions to avoid anymore controversies and potentially ruin the interest in soccer.