Call it a ghost goal, a disallowed goal, phantom goal or simply goal, all stand correct while describing England midfielder Frank Lampard's effort against Germany in the Round of 16 tie during the 2010 World Cup game in Bloemfontein.
Besides being an 'England v Germany', Lampard’s 'goal' came at a pivotal juncture in the knockout game. The scoreline read 2-1 in the favour of Germany, when the former Chelsea midfielder's shot (if allowed) would have been the equaliser, and at the same time providing England the momentum. While neither did the goal count nor the momentum swung as eventually England crash out of the tournament with a 1-4 defeat.
Then 'Three Lions' manager Fabio Capello terms the controversial event as the 'biggest disappointment' of his career. Match official, linesman of the high-voltage game, Mauricio Espinosa, admits he was caught out by speed of the shot and the goal should have stood. Still a teenager in 2010, current England full back Kieran Tripper, almost smashed his telly when referee Jorge Larrionda didn't allow Lampard's drive from outside the box that struck the underside of the crossbar and had bounced over the line. Even an apology from then FIFA president Sepp Blatter couldn't heal thousands of broken English hearts. While the Germans felt justice arrived 44 years too late, after Geoff Hurst’s strike was allowed as a goal in the final of the 1966 World Cup.
While it drew various reactions from world over, Lampard, who had his arms aloft first in triumph and later in dismay, didn't dwell on what could have been another World Cup goal for his nation. Instead he was happy for the greater good of football. The controversy in Bloemfontein became a talking point in the footballing world, intensifying the debate over goalline technology.
A human error came under major scrutiny and the authorities at FIFA decided that referees were to be given more assistance, as the calls for introducing goalline technology caught pace. In July 2012, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) officially approved the use of goalline technology.
In 2013, FIFA announced a multiple camera-based system would be used at the 2013 Confederations Cup. Later in 2013 the Football Association announced that Hawk-Eye would be used in the 2013–14 Premier League season, gradually the technology was implemented in League Cup as well.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup was first tournament to use goalline technology. France became the first beneficiary of the technology when Honduran goalkeeper Noel Valladares dropped a shot from Karim Benzema into the goal.
Bundesliga and Ligue 1 followed suit to use the technology at the start of the 2015–16 season.
With the benefits of the technology minimising error and promoting fairplay even the UEFA Europa League, UEFA Champions League, European Championship and Copa America started using it.
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Updated Date: Jun 11, 2018 11:32:42 IST