Football - The Dugout

Wilkins cool on challenge system

Ray Wilkins has said football needs goalline technology but not a system of challenges after England's lucky Euro 2012 escape against Ukraine.

 
Wilkins cool on challenge  - Football - The DugoutAFP
 

John Terry cleared a Marko Devic shot after it had crossed the line in Donetsk, but the officials failed to spot the ball and the goal was not awarded - England won the game 1-0.

Wilkins says this latest episode highlights the need for goalline cameras to be introduced as quickly as possible.

Was the Ukrainian ‘goal’ against England further evidence that it is time to introduce goalline technology?

It has gone beyond a joke - there’s so much at stake with these decisions. It seems that every other sport on the planet has it, and we need it.

Did the incident disprove Michel Platini’s claim that five officials can see everything?

Yes, I think Platini’s theory has been rubbished. The thing is, the shot wasn’t drilled, it was looped. The official beside the goal had a perfect view, and if he cannot see it then something has to change. I don’t think the officials themselves should be vilified; humans can only do a certain amount, we all make mistakes, and we need assistance.

Sepp Blatter is a convert, and described goalline technology as “a necessity” after Tuesday’s incident.

It’s nice to see Mr Blatter step in at last, although he is saying what we have all said for a long time. Football is a massive industry, and there is a huge financial impact from these decisions, both for clubs and countries. What other industry would allow injustices to stand when they have the means to put things right?

There was an offside in the build-up to the incident that the officials missed – does that suggest that goalline technology is only a partial solution, and do we need a ‘challenge’ system such as that used in tennis, cricket and American Football?

Not for me. Football is a game that needs to flow, and if you are constantly stopping play to review decisions then it becomes a bit of a nonsense. The offside was blatant and should have been picked up and dealt with. So I don’t go along with challenges.

However when it comes to the most crucial question of all – was it a goal? – those are the decisions where we have to make absolutely sure, and the technology is such that it would only take a second or two to know whether the ball has crossed the line. There is no appreciable delay in the game, which would not be the case with a full-blown challenge system.

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