Football — or soccer — is one of those sports that still follows old time tradition, but some innovations are being introduced in the 2014 World Cup. We take a look at two changes that will help bring the sport into the 21st century.
Goal Line Technology
Those who have been following football and the World Cup all of their lives surely have a memory of one of those controversial goals, the ones in which a referee makes the wrong call altogether. To avoid any confusion, FIFA is introducing a new technology at the 2014 World Cup.
In football there is no instant replay, such as that used by American sports. The referee has the last word and as much as players like to complain and use theatrics to try to convince him, calls are final.
Enter goal-line technology. A new system in which 14 cameras are installed on the goal line at the 12 stadiums that will be hosts to World Cup matches in Brazil. Additionally, sensors are used to confirm whether a ball crossed the line.
During the 2014 World Cup match between Chile and Australia on Friday afternoon, there was a clear instance when this brand new innovation confirmed the ball did not cross the line. It looked like a sure goal from Chile, but the Aussie defender Wilkinson kicked the ball away from the line in the nick of time. The goal line technology indicated the ball didn’t clear the line, and so no goal for Chile.
It remains to be seen how often the goal line technology is used and how effective it is. However, it is a step in the right direction as FIFA tries to “modernize” football, the most popular sport in the world.
The vanishing spray is another innovation introduced during the 2014 World Cup. As the name implies, it allows the referee to draw a line on the field.
During the opening match between Brazil and Croatia, the spray — called 9:15 Fairplay or 10 yards in meters — was used for the first time in a World Cup. As Croatian players lined up for a Brazilian free kick, the ref took out a can and sprayed a white line on the field to indicate where the players in the defense should stand.
This simple line prevents opposing players from creeping up and keeps them 10 yards away from the free kicker. Both players and referees seem to approve of the use of the vanishing spray.
In case you are wondering, the cool thing about the vanishing white line is that it disappears after one minute, so it doesn’t distract the rest of the game. This change has already been used in football, and stars such as Ronaldo are okay with it.
As other sports introduce innovations to help with the smooth running of a game, football is forced to change with the times. While FIFA has been reluctant change tradition to improve the game, some die hard fans are protesting their introduction in World Cup play.
[Image via Twitter]