In the recent past, no other and comparably pivotal discussion in football is being dealt with to a similar extent and degree of attention in the media than the question of whether technical aids are to be implemented to detect goal respectively no-goal situations in modern football. Yesterday, IFAB and FIFA have commenced to set the course for a small revolution in football refereeing.
Current examples have fueled demands for a technological solution for this issue, namely when e.g. England was not given a clear goal at 2010 FIFA World Cup or when Ukraine suffered from the same kind of mistake at 2012 UEFA EURO Poland/Ukraine, even though an additional assistant referee observed the situation. At the same time, UEFA has still a huge resistance to goal-line technology (GLT) as they want to maintain the officials' responsibility and human appearance on the pitch. In addition, they repeatedly stated - mostly Platini did so - that referees were a part of the game who could make mistakes as players did.
After all, this argument must be considered as a thought-terminating cliché in the pure form so that it should be heavily weakened.
What are referees originally supposed to do? What is their task and by what measures are their skills or abilities evaluated? A referee makes approximately 350 decisions (per match) based on his impressions. FIFA Laws of the Game are like a paintbox, while the painting can be converted to the referees' interpretation and application of them. A good referee is one who makes good decisions respecting the Laws of the Game, but by his interpretation as well with regard to the match, its circumstances and its atmosphere. Is that possible regarding goal/no-goal decisions? No, it is not. The human eye is not designed for this task, for detecting whether the ball had crossed the line by centrimetres or even millimetres. Interpretation does not count in this sort of decisions, skills are not needed. It is even an inhumane kind of call, therefore, referees cannot be made responsible for mistakes, but in reality, they are made responsible, responsible for a task they cannot fulfill. Even world referees had to feel that.
Finally, IFAB have recognized this as well, so that yesterday's decision at Zürich should be regarded as a real milestone in football refereeing's history future football will surely benefit from - as long as the suggested technology will keep what it promises. Lutz Wagner, former Bundesliga referee and member of DFB referee committee has stated that the approved Hawk-Eye technology could be problematic in situations when players hid the cameras' areas of vicinity so that they then could not be able to gather the ball.
Therefore, the GoalRef technology could be the best solution, but of course, both have to be tested several times to be capable of making a clear judgment.
A certain phrase must be hence repeated: it is not about the "whether", but about the "how", FIFA and IFAB have taken an immense step with regard to that. In general, the echo within German Bundesliga and their coaches has been very positive; Bayern coach Heynckes' statement can be taken as an exemplary one: "That is a good decision which was long overdue. I hope that the modern football is spared from such mistakes by that [...], it is also very important that our referees receive certain help so that their difficult task is now a bit relieved."