Palace injustice reignites technology debate

LONDON - England's refereeing supremo has called for goalline technology to be introduced following the first major controversy of the season when Crystal Palace failed to have a legal goal awarded against Bristol City on Saturday.

Keith Hackett, the general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Board, responsible for overseeing England's leading match officials, apologised to Crystal Palace after referee Rob Shoebridge's blunder.

Shoebridge awarded a goal-kick after a shot from Freddie Sears bounced back into the field of play after hitting the stanchion holding up the net. His decision provoked a furious reaction from Palace manager Neil Warnock after the Championship game which City won 1-0 with a late winner.

Warnock said City should have allowed Palace to score a goal to make up for the referee's error, adding, "We can put a man on the moon, serve at 100 mile an hour at Wimbledon, yet we cannot place a couple of sensors in a net to show when a goal has been scored."

He also demanded that the match should be replayed although the Football League ruled at the weekend the result would stand.

Hackett said that Shoebridge would not officiate at another game for at least two weeks and told Talksport Radio on Monday: "I am a very strong advocate of goalline technology, so are the Football Association, so are the Premier League and the Football League.

"But despite everyone in England being in favour, FIFA and the International Board rejected the use of goal-line technology."

FIFA president Sepp Blatter is against football losing what he calls "its human face" but has also said that world football's governing body will continue experimenting with new systems in the future.

UEFA will experiment with two extra linesmen behind the goal at Europa League matches this season, ruling on whether the ball has crossed the goalline or not.

Gary Johnson, the Bristol City manager, said on Monday that he could not tell his team to allow Palace to score because he had been informed there was an infringement leading up to the goal.

"We all saw the ball hit the back of the net and come straight back out, but the linesman had his flag in the air and at that point no-one knew why the goal was not given," he told Talksport.