Monday, 28 June 2010

Over the line.

I've enjoyed the world cup so far - there've been some upsets, some good goals, and, of course, a good dollop of controversy too, not least on Sunday, as England and Mexico exited the competition. Both teams were the victims of mistakes which use of technology might have prevented, and in both cases, the mistakes did not matter (at least mathematically, if not temporally) to the final result. One thing that has really irked me, though, is the way that the media (specifically BBC and ITV in their live coverage and analysis) have addressed the issue of technology.

Both broadcasters have pushed the line that they cannot understand why video technology is not being used; indeed Mark Lawrenson makes this point so often and with such ferocity that it would almost be unsurprising to find a monthly cheque from the producers of Hawkeye landing on his doormat. Both broadcasters made it a major thread of their post-match discussions, but while opinion was somewhat divided amongst the pundits, there was never a strong argument made against its introduction. Those with reservations, such as FIFA, were cast in the role of Luddites, and equally mocked for their lack of foresight and demonised for the effect it had on the English team's defeat.

I find it annoying that rather than taking the opportunity to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of technology in the game, this complex issue was presented by both broadcasters as an obvious solution being held back by pencil pushing "suits". This characterisation is misleading at best and tabloid at worst, and such a visceral reaction will not have been at all persuasive to those whose votes are counted on the matter.

Also, sorry it's been so long since I posted - it's very clear now that life is getting in the way pretty much permanently. I make no promises on the timing of my next effort, but hopefully it'll be easier now that I've broken my silence.

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