So here we go again. The whole of football has its knickers in a twist because Clint Hill's header was a couple of feet over the line and a goal wasn't given. OK, the officials were wrong. Big deal. Tell me, how many "goals" were incorrectly struck off for offside yesterday, and how many goals were allowed when they should have been disallowed because of offside, or a foul or handball? Look at Cisse's joke of a goal. He was three yards offside and stationary when the pass was played! And how many penalties were given that shouldn't have been given yesterday, and how many penalties that should have been given were denied?
And this goes on. QPR fans are arguing that Bolton scored a goal following a free kick incorrectly awarded and Bolton fans can legitimately point out that Hill's ghost goal came from a ghost corner that should not have been awarded in the first place. How many goals come from incorrectly awarded corners, free kicks or throw ins? How far back in the action do we have to track? Every moment in every game has an impact on the rest of the game. All points in a game lead up to any individual point in a game. The toss of the coin, deciding who kicks off, sets a template from which the rest of the game unfolds.
Then there are the red cards - those that should have been shown and those that were shown that shouldn't have been. And the yellow cards, because a missed yellow could become a red later in the game, and an incorrectly awarded yellow makes a player unnecessarily cautious in the tackle for the rest of the game.
So why the fuss over Hill's goal? In what way was it worse than Cisse's incorrectly permitted goal? I genuinely do not understand. I didn't see that Hill's goal had crossed the line in real time, and nor did the BBC commentator who yelled "Hit the bar", but I did see that Cisse was very obviously offside, so offside that I was staggered he was allowed to go on and score, provoking suspicions of the officials deliberately evening things out by allowing a phantom goal to balance out a ghost goal.
The answer is, of course, very simple. Introduce goal line technology but also introduce a three appeals system as in cricket, giving the fourth official the opportunity to review key decisions in a game. Each manager would have the right to appeal three decisions in a game, with a system of heavy fines for clubs introduced for flippant appeals should they be made.
The system would not be flawless. What about a missed penalty? Perhaps an appeal could be made as soon as the ball goes dead, with any game time between the incident and any subsequently awarded penalty added on as extra time. But what happens then if a goal is scored in the interim? What a nightmare! So perhaps a manager could indicate an appeal, so stopping the game. But what if a manager chose to do this with a fatuous appeal designed to stop the opposition from breaking and possibly scoring? So the referee would have to be allowed discretion to ignore the appeal, allowing the game to flow until an appropriate time to stop and review the decision? But what would then happen if a goal is scored from the break but the review shows that the penalty should have been awarded?
It's a swamp in truth. So I suspect appeals have to be restricted to incidents that stop the game. If a goal is awarded or disallowed the game has stopped - except in the case of ghost goals like Lampard's and Hill's! But the fourth or fifth official sat at a monitor can intervene then irrespective of an appeal. Similarly, the issuing of a red card can be appealed as can the failure to do so in the case of a professional foul or the second possible yellow.
If we are going down the road of goal line technology, it is logically consistent to follow cricket by allowing three appeals and of rugby by allowing the official to review any suspect score. Mind you, the number of goals scored from set pieces would be drastically reduced given all the professional blocking that takes place in the box! Suddenly 0-0 would become the favourite correct score prediction; and is that really what the fans want to see?