Friday, July 5, 2013

5 July 2012 - The Times They Are A-Changin'

On 5 July 2012, the International Football Association Board, responsible for the Laws of the Game, finally approved the use of goal-line technology, reversing years of opposition.

According to the Laws of the Game, a goal is counted only when the ball passes completely over the goal line. But the fallibility of referees means that disputed goals have long been a staple of football, even reaching to the highest level. In 1966, England won the World Cup over West Germany 4-2, with their third goal still stirring controversy over whether it should have been allowed.

To address the problem, calls for the use of goal-line technology started in the 2000s, but FIFA resisted the pressure, with President Sepp Blatter saying as late as 2010 that it would be too expensive and would slow down match play.

But high-profile incidents continued to stoke public support, including a disallowed English goal against Germany in the 2010 World Cup that was far over the line (pictured) and another by Ukraine against England at Euro 2012.

Then, in July 2012, the IFAB--which consists of FIFA and the FAs of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland--decided to allow the use of goal-line technology, starting with the 2012 Club World Cup and the 2013 Confederations Cup (although neither tournament presented an opportunity to review a decision whether to allow a goal).

At the same meeting, IFAB voted to allow women to wear headscarves while playing, reversing a rule against religious statements that had been enforced since 2007, and also voted to allow a fifth referee at matches.

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