Even FIFA head Sepp Blatter agrees now that it really is time to let cameras and computers determine whether a ball has fully crossed the goal line when the attacking side claims a goal and the defenders claim to have cleared it. Ghost goals have long been part of the game — either those awarded that never crossed the line, or those denied that did — but the authorities tried to remedy those at Euro 2012 by stationing a referee’s assistant right behind the goal to adjudicate goal line calls that were too difficult for either the ref or the line judges to accurately call.
And there was such an official on duty when Ukraine scored a goal against England that was disallowed. Humans make mistakes, particularly because they’re watching the play and have to turn their eyes to the goal line within a split second. Only a machine won’t be distracted by having to look in two places at once. So, yes, goal line technology is now inevitable. But, the end of phantom goals will spoil the narrative of so many losing sides. This one worked in England’s favor (England fans will also tell you that Ukraine should have been called for offside in the build up), but the last great clamor for the technology came after England’s Frank Lampard scored against Germany at World Cup 2010 but the ref didn’t see it. Then again, had there been goal line technology in 1966, England might still be waiting for its first-ever World Cup title.