Posted on 3/11/2010

Pronunciation: ˌkre-də-ˈbi-lə-tē
Function: noun
Date: 1594
1 : the quality or power of inspiring belief
2 : capacity for belief

So this week FIFA once again turned a blind eye to using goal-line technology in the sport of soccer and specifically at the world largest stage, the World Cup. It has become such a joke that people that work within the sport have become to know FIFA as the laughing stock of the game and really the biggest reason the sport does not move ahead more in North America. It’s ironic the world governing bodies slogan is “fair play.” FIFA continues to leave the door wide open to corruption and match fixing with their excuse of leaving the game to the human element. Does that mean the other sports like Hockey, Basketball, and Baseball should do the same? I don't think so. The governing bodies in those other sports realize that getting the call right is of the upmost importance. Humans make mistakes and at that level it's just not acceptable. There is just too much at stake and it certainly lacks what the word at the top of my blog describes: credibility!

Tennis is the best example, I think of how this technology has actually enhanced the sport. The Hawk-eye video replay system engages the fans at the events on a player challenge and the results are complete in seconds. It actually enhances officials work and in my mind makes them stronger. I have more respect for an official who says, “I’m not sure, let’s go upstairs and check it out,” instead of making the wrong call. Why can’t that work for soccer? It can, but that takes away an element of control from FIFA. They have the ability to assign referees and get the results they want. How can they say we need to keep the human element when officials as early as a month ago have been kicked out of the game for match-fixing? FIFA is an organization way to arrogant to look themselves in the mirror or to acknowledge that "outsiders" may have a point on improving the quality of the game. I'm not even sure adding another official to the game with change a thing. It's just one more person to be bribed by gamblers and match-fixers. As early as this past weekend there was a disputed goal in the FA Cup and every time it happens we ask the same questions.

I was so close to actually believing something might change in FIFA-land after the Henry incident, but really I am wondering what on earth I was thinking knowing FIFA’s track record. Canada is no stranger to bad calls on the part of CONACAF officials. World Cup qualifying and the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup are the first ones that come to mind and in a country where soccer is still trying so hard to establish itself with the other major sports FIFA and other organizing bodies must take into consideration the enhancements and changes in other sports in order to keep pace as you can’t fall behind in a race you are already trailing!



Posted by david Ackerman on
4/21/2010 3:40:27 PM
Europe's arrogance is behind it. Seep Blatter was just interview in the WSJ about soccer in North America and all he kept saying is that it has to change their schedule to match the rest of Europe. Clearly he no idea about the dominant sports here- and the weather.\n\n They can learn a lot from North America. I have not heard a compelling argument not to use goal line technology or video play back for certain calls. Video and TV has changed the way be see the game. This is true for player, and the audience. Why not accept it and use to better the game. \nIt's not a cost issue and easy to do for the major tournaments and pro leagues. \n\nin Europe they fight to maintain tradition but they have no problem having a gambling web site as a major sponsor of a soccer team. What tradition is that? The world' biggest sport needs to step up its game and get into the 21st century\n\n\n
Posted by Chris on
4/10/2010 11:42:15 PM
I just finished reading all the post previously posted, and some very good points were proven. I'm personally a keeper but I am also still young. Video technology would be a good idea call wise and fairness wise, but it would also be a bad idea in the area were people watch the sport because it isn't only about the ability of the feet but also ability of the mind to quick thinking when an infraction has occurred like a hand ball for example and a player has to think quickly and play it off. We already have 2 lines men on each side and referee running back and forth in the field watching the plays. The sport should be left the way it is adding technology would alter the sport to a point where interest will be lost in it for many. Soccer is a unique sport and that's why many love, and it should be left that way.
Posted by RIchard on
3/27/2010 6:13:30 PM
My comments were in relation to the adult game, something I mistakenly assumed would be painfully obvious. Of course modifications to the rules are made to accommodate small children during their develoment phase. For the same reason kids are introduced to T-Ball before they move on to baseball!
Posted by Canolli on
3/26/2010 5:34:55 PM
I am enjoying this debate. The purists invent "facts" to keep the officiating as-is, while the liberals complain of the potential for criminal activity.\n\nI must clarify. First, for the purists, children under the age of 14 DO NOT follow the same rules as the pros. There are fewer players on the field and the fields are smaller, varying by age. There are also varying subsets of the FIFA laws, called "mini-field" rules. Most have no offside and all tend to allow less tolerance for physical contact. Obviously, serious play in U17, 20 or 23 follows FIFA to the letter, in order to better prepare players for a pro career.\n\nFor the liberals, please don't delude yourselves into believing that goal-line technology can thwart the fix. Just look at the Thierry Henry hand-ball in the France Ireland WC qualifier game. Nothing to do with the goal line, this officiating "error" has sparked huge debate about the lack of tech (read: video) in the game.\n\nFor myself, I love the idea of keeping it human, especially because of the simplicity of the game. However, I do believe that the officials shoulder an enormous responsibility, certainly in the more critical games, that may be unnecessary. In my opinion, the officials should be the ones to decide this one. If they actually do accept bribes, they will have to live with the wrath of those who believe that it's so.
Posted by Nelson on
3/26/2010 3:01:07 AM
i so agree with richard and martin, and lee i dont think fifa couldn't afford it they can, but if a standard technoly is put in place for all pro leagues each nation is responsible to pay for the cost, and who cannot afford it are the other 200 nations that are memeber of fifa (they are 208 so 8 of those nation aren't 3 world countries, meybe a few more but very little) fifa represents football not the usa not Canada not the UK or Spain, i agree with Platini, i think they should try anything else or everything posible before even thinking of using technology in football. I remember when the mls stared and they would take thier penalties kick hockey style runing with the ball and shoting, not thank you north america your ideas are for your own taste
Posted by Richard on
3/17/2010 4:08:36 PM
Goal line video, video reviews, any kind of technology - doesn't really matter - it is all adding cost, delay, complexity and differentiating the way the game is played/officiated between the elite and the everyday which will be a huge and divisive step and have a massive impact on the culture of the game. We've all seen what's happened with ice hockey as the NHL has moved away from the international rules. Many people just lost interest in the fight riddled NHL game. I agree with Platini, if there must be any changes then add one more referee and leave it at that, stick with the human option.
Posted by Lee Godfrey on
3/17/2010 3:25:03 PM
Goal-line vs. video technology two different things. I think many people are getting confused with this. Nigel Reed is bang on with this blog:\n
Posted by Richard on
3/16/2010 6:01:52 PM
So referees make mistakes sometimes, they're human. How many times at world cup level has a referee shown one player three yellows? Not enough to justify a wholesale change in the philosophy of game officiating. Corruption and match fixing will not stop the day FIFA introduces goal line video technology at the world cup. The last thing I want to see is constant game interruptions while half a dozen officials consult video replays as in NHL and NFL which I simply refuse to watch in large part because one hour of actual regulation play takes nearly three hours to complete. I know this is not all due to video replays but you get my drift I'm sure. Call me old school but I like it just the way it is. Exactly the same rules apply at every level of the game which will no longer be the case if you get your way and it will be just the thin edge of the wedge. Every time somebody has some objection to the way the referee rules there will be demands for more or different technology.
Posted by Martin on
3/16/2010 5:56:59 PM
I don't understand, Lee, how goal-line technology gets rid of match fixing. It doesn't. Very few goals are ever disputed. What you are suggesting basically is to review every call in every game. That will ruin this game and make it into the NFL. There's a reason why the rest of the world doesn't watch NFL, it's because it's slowed down and boring.
Posted by Lee Godfrey on
3/15/2010 4:51:36 PM
Nothing Arrogant about it, not unless you're Sepp or Jack. I love this game and have worked in it for 15 years, played it all my life and nothing frustrates me more when people use the same lame excuses for why they don't watch the sport and many times I can't argue with them. FIFA make 1.5 Billion CDN a year and they say they can't afford it?? You're right...nothing is bigger than the FIFA World Cup. Too bad when all the world's eyes are watching they can't get a call right (Hiddink remembers that from '06) and in another match a referee gave a player 3 yellows?? I'm not saying the rest of the world has it wrong either. I'm saying FIFA has it wrong and they leave the door wide open for corruption and match-fixing (Ghana/Brazil Germany 2006). Mike Holmes says it best and it's very simple. "Make it Right!"
Posted by Richard on
3/12/2010 1:26:08 AM
Lee, I could not disagree with you more profoundly on this one. Just because North America lags the rest of the world in taking to soccer does not mean the rest of the world has got it wrong - classic North American arrogance. Show me a single sport event bigger than the FIFA World Cup.\n\nThe same Laws of the Game apply in football whether it be a World Cup final or your 8-year-old's community team playing in a local park. The NHL could learn a thing or two from that.

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Lee Godfrey brings an extensive amount of soccer broadcast experience to GolTV where he is the host of the station’s original Canadian news program Extra Time.