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Magpie vs Magpie: Goal line technology

Papiss Cisse wasn't awarded a goal last weekend on a shot that may have gone in. Is it time for goal line technology in soccer? Alan Hoffmann and Callum Kane debate.

Could he have used some help from upstairs?
Could he have used some help from upstairs?
Ian Walton

Callum and I had a fun back and forth on this. If you follow me on Twitter (@AlanHoffmann), you know that I'm an advocate for replay in soccer. I made that argument during Newcastle's scoreless draw with West Ham after Papiss Cisse was not awarded a goal on a controversial play. It was either during the match or right after that Callum (@CallumKane_) tweeted out that he was still didn't favor goal-line tech. And so, the latest installment of Magpie vs Magpie was born.

Alan (51dimes)

My basic argument for using goal-line tech, or some other form of review, is that it is all about getting the call right. Especially when locked into a tight relegation race, where every goal matters, it is important to get the call right. Papiss Cisse's shot may not have crossed the line (I think it did), but it's worth taking a minute to take a look at it upstairs and know for sure.

Just looking at Newcastle, there are many opportunities where a review would have been beneficial. How many times was Cisse called offsides when he wasn't? Wigan's second goal against us was allowed to stand, despite a handball. Elsewhere in the relegation fight, Norwich should have been awarded a penalty kick against Sunderland for a handball in the box, but weren't. All of these could have been called correctly.

The main concern that people might have is the delay, but I don't think these delays will have much of an impact. TV replays can determine offsides and other calls in a matter of moments. It would be simple to add this time to stoppage time, knowing the calls are right.

I don't feel that everything should be reviewed. But, giving referees the option to go upstairs (much like they do in rugby and cricket) or allowing coaches a challenge per game (similar to American football) would place a good check into the game to make sure that the calls are correct.

What say you?

Callum (CallumKane)

As always, fair and valid points. But, the game shouldn't become an elitist sport like Rugby and Cricket are over in England. The best thing about football is the fact that no matter, where you play it, be it a park or St James' Park, it is the same. All you need is a set of goalposts and a ball. With goal-line technology I feel it's another part of the basic sport lost. The working men's game changing in the way that other sports have.

As a young lad although football and Newcastle were my passion, I mostly played cricket. A sport which uses technology, and it has undoubtedly changed the sport. Some would argue for the best, others for the worst. But where I played (grassroots level) is so much different to the level that professionals play at. With football that isn't the case, if I go right now with a group of friends to a football field apart from the stadium and pay what is so different?

Obviously I would have liked Cisse's goal to have counted, but we did have one given earlier on in the season at Everton. It's a cliched comment but these things do even themselves out! We've had a few go for us in our time, the 5-0 vs Manchester United has a controversial goal in it.

But my main reason for not wanting goal line tech, is the fact that football seems to be moving further away from the working mans sport it once was and, this could be yet another nail in the coffin. With rising prices, high unemployment it seems unfair to compare football and politics but football needs to stick to its roots.

I'll hand back over to Alan.....


While I can see that football is moving away from the working man's game, I don't think goal line tech will necessarily accelerate that. I think TV deals and sponsorships that pump so much money into the sport are doing that. Goal line tech and reviews won't take that away. You can still go to the park with your mates and knock the football around.

Part of soccer's allure is its simplicity, I'll grant you that. It's rules are easy to pick-up. However, given how much the game has changed, in terms of the money at stake in it, it's worth having a review process to make sure things get right. If fans are going to pay rising prices, shouldn't we be guaranteed as fair of a contest as we can get? I hope to make my own pilgrimage to St. James' Park someday, and while I know I can't be sure the lads will put on a good show, I hope the match I get to take in doesn't have a controversy hang over it, especially if that controversy could easily be answered with a quick review.

I am wondering if you'd be open to goal referees like we saw in the Europa League. Do they offer us a nice solution to our debate? It's a sort of review, or at least another set of eyes, but it's not tech. I think even having another referee keeping an eye out for handballs in the box or watching the goal line could help clear up some of the controversial calls, while still keeping the sport at its roots. What do you say?


While I take all that on board, and I massively respect your opinion I just feel the game should be left as it is. I'm not even a massive fan of the referees behind the goal if i'm honest. In what could be perceived as a draconian statement, I like going to the pub (the strawberry of course) after the match to discuss it. The talking points and debate after the match is just as good as the actual game! Was it a goal, was it not? These keep people talking and generates debate.

I totally agree with your statement about the allure of football is the simplicity. Maybe the game has changed? But, why should it lose its soul just so a team doesn't miss out on some extra cash? I'm a massive fan of the modern game but I also think it owes a debt of gratitude to us, the fans, that make it, and maybe keeping technology away from the game could be a tip of the hat to us?

In the podcast, Robert and Jim mentioned Tennis as an example of a sport that has benefited from the use of technology, but, the difference is that Tennis has always been a rather upper-class sport if you will. And, I know I keep repeating myself but football just isn't that. The day that goal line technology was announced was the day football died for me. This opens a door for other forms of tech to come in to the sport. What's to stop tech for offsides? Or handballs? It's just a whole can of worms that we just don't need.

If push came to shove I would take the referees behind the goal instead of technology. But even then it would be with a heavy heart. I think that the game should stay just as it.

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Now we open it up to the commentators. Do you think goal line tech or some other form of video review should come into soccer? Vote in the poll and leave a comment below.