The overdue implementation of goal-line technology at the 2014 World Cup was supposed to forever put an end to controversies of goals either being allowed or disallowed at the line, but on France's second goal against Honduras all it did was show that some people's hesitancy to accept change for the better.
Following egregious examples of proper goals not begin counted at previous World Cups — most notably Frank Lampard's for England against Germany in 2010 — FIFA finally relented on their long-standing reluctance to implement goal-line technology for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. A system called GoalControl was set up and thoroughly tested at all 12 stadiums. According to FIFA, "GoalControl is equipped with 14 high-speed cameras located around the pitch, with seven cameras focusing on each goalmouth. The ball’s position is continuously and automatically captured in 3D and the indication of whether a goal has been scored is immediately confirmed within one second to a watch worn by each of the match officials."
Through the first few days of the tournament, the system's automatic usage to illustrate that goals hitting the back of the net were, in fact, goals became a bit of a running joke for viewers at home. But on France's second goal against Honduras, it was vital for the first time. A Kerim Benzema shot that hit the far post and did not cross the line on its first bounce, but was then knocked ever so slightly over by Honduran keeper Noel Valladares before quickly pulling it back.
To the naked eye, it didn't look like it completely crossed the line — which the ball must do to be a goal — but the GoalControl visualization showed that it did fully cross. The goal was counted and charged to Valladares.
But instead of believing this proof, many people believed their own flawed eyeballs' view of a flat TV screen over the expensive technology designed exclusively to verify if a ball crosses the goal-line at the scene. Naturally, disgraced former Sky Sports pundit Richard Keys was quick to write off the technology.
That wasn't in. At any time. Told you this technology wasn't fool proof.
— Richard Keys (@richardajkeys) June 15, 2014
Images then emerged that showed the goal decision was right. Keys and the other doubters were forced to change their tune.
— sportingintelligence (@sportingintel) June 15, 2014
And even the Brazuca ball itself confirmed the goal, because talking World Cup balls are a thing now.
Of course, technology can be flawed too, and doubting a new system implemented by FIFA, of all organizations, is never a bad thing. But in this case, it looks like everything worked out the way it should and the disbelief was more rooted in a general distrust for new technology in a simple old game.
France went on to score another goal and win 3-0 in a convincing start to their World Cup.
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