Regular readers of this blog already know that we covered the goal line technology debate in a number of posts. However, we seem to be unable to get away from this subject mostly because referees continue to make glaring mistakes and fail to award goals where they are clearly merited. The latest error was committed by the referees who officiated a game between Bolton Wanderers and Queens Park Rangers this past Saturday, March 10, 2012.
At the time when the game was still scoreless, Clint Hill, QPR’s defender, headed the ball towards Bolton’s goal. Adam Bogdan, Bolton’s goalkeeper, dove after the ball and desperately tried to stop it from going over the line but all of the replays and pictures (see above) clearly showed that the ball crossed over the goal line. In fact, it appeared that by the time Bogdan got to it, the ball was already one foot over the line. QPR should have been leading Bolton by a score of 1:0.
Mark Hughes, QPR’s manager, was understandably dejected with the referees’ performance and commented after the game that “all you ask for is the key moments and the key decisions in games to be judged correctly. To have that clear goal chalked off was a significant moment for us because you can’t underestimate the significance of scoring first as an away side at the wrong end of the table. If we scored then I think we would have taken the game away from Bolton.” QPR’s owner had issued even sharper critique of the officials and stated that “decisions like that ruin games and ruin seasons. Intolerable. It’s just terrible officiating.”
Quite frankly, you can’t blame QPR’s officials for being angry. Given that QPR garnered a total of 22 points this season and occupies the 18th position in the table - sitting right below Bolton with 23 points (including the three from this game) - this game was hugely important to both teams and may determine which of the two teams is relegated from the Barclays Premier League.
Following the game, the FA issued strongly reiterating its support for goal line technology. The statement read as follows:
Following last week’s meeting of IFAB (International Football Association Board) The FA would like to reiterate our strong desire to see Goal Line Technology introduced as soon as possible.
The FA has been a leading proponent of Goal Line Technology for many years. We will continue to press for its introduction once further independent testing is complete later this year, so that anyone wishing to introduce the technology is able to do so at the earliest possible opportunity.
As we said before, we support limited and reasonable use of goal line technology to assist the referees in making these crucial decisions.