Malta Football Association
USE OF TECHNOLOGY - What they think about it
Jun 2, 2012
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Here's an article written for Gadgets Magazine


Two years have passed for bitter England supporters since Frank Lampard was denied a goal during England's Second Round World Cup game against Germany. FIFA - who was previously against the use of technology in the sport - is currently supporting the testing of potential candidates for goal-line technology in the hope of reducing such uproars.


One proposed solution for this is ‘Goal-line technology’, which determines whether the ball has crossed the goal line, making referees’ lives easier. Although other systems were tested and deemed inaccurate, two remain, one of which is called ‘Hawk-Eye’. Hawk-Eye is a complex computer line-calling system used in sports such as tennis to visually track the ball’s trajectory. This technology uses six or more cameras around the court to trace the location of the tennis ball, which, when combined together, produce an accurate 3D representation of the path of the ball. This may then be displayed on a screen when a decision taken by the umpire is challenged by a player to determine whether the ball was in or out of the tramline.


Who better than four of our national team footballers to give us their opinion on this technology. What are the advantages and disadvantages of depending on technology over a referee to take football-related decisions?  This is what they think:


Andrew Hogg: The referee is important to put the human element into the game but some decisions should be seen on camera, especially decisions determining whether the ball went in or not and those determining whether a penalty is due. So much money is involved in games nowadays. However, with technology, the human part of sport is removed, and it is the human part which makes football what it is – EXCITING.


Andrew Cohen: I completely agree with Andrew. I would like to add that technology should be used in cases where there are doubts as to whether a red card should be given or not as that would have a big effect on the outcome of the game.


Andre Schembri: Everyone makes genuine mistakes on the pitch, players and referees alike. Football is a fast-paced game in which, unlike tennis, many things happen at once - sometimes out of the referees’ field of vision. However, mistakes are being reduced with technology, for instance with the introduction of microphones worn by referees who can speak to the linesmen and fourth official. I absolutely agree with microphones being used during games, but I’m not in favour of goal-line technology being introduced.


Justin Haber: I see the introduction of goal-line technology as a door of opportunity for further technology to be introduced. The beauty of football is the human element of referees’ decisions and subsequent crowd reactions. Replace that with technology and football will eventually end up being like a Playstation game, where every minor decision made by the referee is challenged.


Player Profiles


Andrew Hogg

Position: Goalkeeper

Favourite gadget:  My GoPro Camera – I use it all the time.

A gadget I wish existed: Can I choose a gadget to stop my mum from nagging?

Euro-Cup team I’m supporting: I’m behind Ireland as they are the underdogs. However I think Spain will probably win. 


Andrew Cohen

Position: Striker

Favourite gadget:  Playstation – I love playing FIFA and Call of Duty.

A gadget I wish existed: Definitely a gadget which would allow me to know what people are thinking.

Euro-Cup team I’m supporting: I support Italy, they will be the winners!


Andre Schembri

Position: Midfielder

Favourite gadget:  I live alone so I find it hard to live without a laptop and not be able to use the internet or watch DVDs.

A gadget I wish existed: A laptop which you can give orders to - for example I order a pizza and the laptop delivers!  

Euro-Cup team I’m supporting: Even though I enjoy watching football, I don’t support national teams since football is my profession now. I just support Roma - Totti is my role model. As for the Euro-Cup winners, I think it will be Germany this time.



Justin Haber

Position: Goalkeeper

Favourite gadget:  Even though it is not a gadget, I have to say Facebook.

Euro-Cup team I’m supporting: I think Spain will win the Euro Cup, but I’m not supporting any team. When you’re into football day in, day out, it gets tiring. We’ll probably be training while the matches are on, anyway. 



The main criticism of the use of technology in football is that it would interrupt the flow of the game and impact the human element which would in turn remove the excitement and enjoyment of debating mistakes. On the other hand, those who believe in justice being done to their team may argue that the introduction of such technology would make watching a game in which correct decisions are taken more enjoyable.


We have the eyes of the Hawk following us everywhere, on the road, in our own homes, on social occasions – cameras are going to determine the way we behave and how we are judged. Football, unlike the rest of the world, has somewhat resisted technology and kept it at bay up till now.When and if goal-line technology will be introduced we don’t know. What is sure is that it’s not going to be used during this year’s Euro-Cup. 

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