FIFA's new soccer goal line technology passed its first major test at the World Cup in France's 3-0 victory over Honduras on Sunday, but not without some confusion and anger from Honduran players when the call did not go their way.
The goal in the 48th minute was critical because it gave France a 2-0 lead, leaving Honduras with the difficult task of making up the deficit within one half.
A shot by France's Karim Benzema bounced off the Honduras goal post to goalkeeper Noel Valladares. Valladares, though, fumbled the ball just across the goal line for what essentially amounted to an own goal.
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The Associated Press reported
that the goal line technology, which incorporates seven cameras on the goal, spotted the ball moving past the goal line, alerting referees with a flashing "Goal" after Valladares' mistake.
The system, though, had flashed "No Goal" initially when Benzema shot hit the post, but quickly changing it to "Goal" once Valladares bobbled the rebound, infuriating Honduras players and fans, who believed their team had dodged a bullet.
"Well, I wasn't angry because they accepted the goal. I was angry because they didn't accept the goal. The first decision was 'No goal' and then the machine said it was a goal," Honduras coach Luis Suarez told the AP through a translator. "So I don't know what to think. That's the point. If the technology sends a clear message, then I don't understand how the system can say it's a goal first and then 'No goal.' What is the truth?"
French coach Didier Deschamps, while saying the system got the call right, said he could understand Honduras' initial disappointment.
"The only problem was that they showed an image on the screen that didn't correspond to the goal," said Deschamps. "They showed the ball hitting the post when the ball hadn't crossed the line yet. The ball was clearly over the line after the goalkeeper had fumbled. Obviously, I can put myself in their position and, of course, they were very angry and so were the fans — because if you're going to show an image it should be the right one."
The Guardian reported
the technology is already used around the world in sports like cricket and tennis. The newspaper said high speed cameras triangulates and tracks the position and flight of the ball and was used in the United Kingdom's Premier League this season.
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