Disallowed England goal strikes controversy

Frank Lampard`s first-half goal against Germany was disallowed despite the ball bouncing about half a metre beyond the goal line.

Updated: Jun 28, 2010, 13:29 PM IST

Bloemfontein: Frank Lampard`s first-half goal in Sunday`s 4-1 defeat to Germany, disallowed despite the ball bouncing about half a metre beyond the goal line, recalled Geoff Hurst`s famously controversial strike when the two nations met in the 1966 World Cup final.

In a strange twist, Hurst`s extra-time shot, which like Lampard`s effort came off the cross-bar, instead appeared not to have crossed the line. It was, however, adjudged a goal and it paved the way for England`s eventual 4-2 victory in Wembley.

Sunday`s incident in Bloemfontein came 44-years later and amid growing calls for the use of goal-line technology, including sensors, to assist referees and their assistants.

However, world football`s governing body FIFA has steadfastly refused to install the technology.
`We want to keep football as a game of the people with a human face, so we don`t want technology on the field of play because we want to maintain the spontaneity of football - played, administered and controlled by human beings,` FIFA President Sepp Blatter said before the start of the 2010 World Cup.

The world football supremo also said he believed the `tremendous preparations programmes` that World Cup referees had endured in the run-up to the tournament would avoid big errors being made.

But the Bloemfontein blunder by Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda and his assistants may now serve to hasten the introduction of sensors and other technology-assisted measures.

These could include instant video replays allowing referees to review incidents during the course of a match.

It may help that Larrionda`s mistake instantly reverberated around the world media.
`Scandal of the World Cup,` said Spanish sports daily Marca`s website - a sentiment echoed, using the same phrase, by Italian daily La Repubblica.

Even the Germans could do little but admit the Uruguayan match official`s mistake.

`The referee`s assistant should have seen it, it was clearly a goal,` said former team boss Franz Beckenbauer on German television.

In the World Cup final 44 years ago, Hurst scored for England with the ball bouncing out having come down on the goal line but Azerbaijani linesman Tofik Bakhramov said the ball crossed the line and awarded the goal.

Fortune favoured England in 1966 but this time the luck was against them with Der Spiegel saying: `Wembley is back, only the reverse of 1966.`

Despite his talk of accepting human imperfection, Blatter has not closed the door entirely to the use of technology.

`Technology on the field of play is put on ice. It is not out forever,` Blatter said.

IANS