At first, officials didn’t recognize the goal that eliminated Germany from the FIFA World Cup. When Japan scored to take the lead against Spain on Thursday, the plan was initially disallowed because the ball appeared to cross the goal line in the split second before it was scored.
When Japan scored their controversial goal against Spain in the World Cup last week, many people thought that it wouldn’t stand because it looked like the ball had gone out of play. However, despite appearing to cross the white end line, the goal was allowed to stand after a review by VAR.
While many people feel that this call was incorrect and mark Spain their chance at winning the world cup 2022 ball, others argue that using technology to make such calls is necessary to get them right – something which has become increasingly important in major tournaments like the World Cup, where billions of dollars are on the line.
This raised some questions about whether or not referees are correctly using technology to make decisions during games.
From some perspectives, the field of play extended beyond the white end line and into the green grass beyond. As a result of that sliver of green, millions of spectators and even referee experts thought the goal wouldn’t stand.
“As we see on this replay, yes it is, it’s out of play,” former English Premier League referee Mark Clattenbirg stated on Fox’s broadcast. “And therefore, it will be disallowed. … This will get chalked off.”
However, Clattenbirg was wrong. There is no significance to the patch of grass between the ball and the line; the ball is considered out of play only after its surface has passed beyond the boundary line.
A ball is still in play if and only if a line drawn perpendicular to the ground, straight up from the end line into the sky, touches any part of the ball.
Bird’s-eye views of the scene indicated that the ball had not yet completed this, as it still lingered above the line.
The objective was therefore established following the video analysis.
That decision was not without flaws. Goal-line technology, like tennis’s renowned “Hawk-Eye” system, allows officials to verify goals from within the goalposts.
The video assistant referee, however, would have had access to various perspectives thanks to cameras placed along the goal line. Although FIFA has not made public the footage or still images that led to the on-field call being reversed, it is safe to assume that the video assistants deemed those perspectives to be decisive.