Is the curse of the Jabulani back Chelsea concerned with microchip ball ahead of goal-line technology trial
07:01 GMT, 13 December 2012
Chelsea will become the first Premier League team to trial goal-line technology against Monterrey in the FIFA Club World Cup semi-final in Yokohama but the Blues have already raised concerns over the adidas ball.
Both GoalRef and Hawk-Eye goal-line systems are being used at the tournament and Chelsea will trial the GoalRef system, which requires a microchip to be placed inside the ball.
Chelsea have been training with the microchip GoalRef adidas ball since Monday and the players’ first reaction was that it was hard and difficult to caress, similar to the reaction to the controversial adidas Jabulani ball at the 2010 World Cup. There are even concerns over the ball’s flight.
Cech-ing it out: Petr Cech has a look at the goal-line technology that FIFA are trialing in this tournament
‘It’s different because it has the microchip and more difficult,’ said Chelsea’s interim manager Rafa Benitez. ‘On the first day, the players thought it was too hard but on the second day they didn’t say anything. We will see. It won’t be a problem and it won’t be an excuse. It’s the same for everybody.’
Gary Cahill agreed it was unusual. 'They’ve felt harder, more solid,' said Cahill. 'It just felt heavy. But they’re alright. We’ve played with them for the last few days and everyone is fine with them now.'
Others within the Chelsea camp thought the balls had been behaving strangely, moving and wobbling more than ever, but Adidas and GoalRef insist it is no different and that extra hardness may be down to the cold weather.
Ready for battle: Chelsea trained at the Yokohama Stadium on Wednesday ahead of their semi-final against Monterrey
Corinthians await the winner of the Chelsea v Monterrey clash in the final after they beat Al Ahly in the first semi-final on Wednesday in Toyota
For consistency, the microchip ball is being used in all Club World Cup games, even those in Toyota where the Hawk-Eye technology will make any goal-line calls using cameras and video technology.
WHAT IS GOALREF
There is a microchip inside the ball
which sends an alert to the referee on a vibrating wristband when it
breaks the magnetic field across the goal-line. GoalRef claim it will
take 0.3 seconds for the referee to receive the information. This system
is being used in the Yokohama games and is thought to be the favoured
Some players have said they have found the black netting in the goals, which is required to make the Hawk-Eye work accurately, are disconcerting because they have lost their “white box” shooting target.
WHAT IS HAWK-EYE
Those games in Toyota are also played
using the GoalRef balls but the system in use at the tournament’s second
venue is Hawk-Eye, familiar to cricket and tennis fans, which
determines whether the ball has crossed the line by way video graphics
on TV. It requires black netting in the goals and some players have
complained that they have lost their 'white box' target. FIFA realise
that if this is introduced, they will have to share the images with fans
in the ground, which adds expense.
'I don’t like video technology during the game,' added Benitez. 'You can change too many things and then you lose something. I remember a final in rugby where there was three minutes to make a decision with the technology. Three minutes!
'In football they say it is very quick but I remember playing for Liverpool against Charlton with Jerzy Dudek as ‘keeper and Darren Bent as the striker.
'There was a penalty against us and we can see four replays. In three it was a penalty. The fourth, he didn’t touch him. Who will analyse this How long will it take to analyse every single angle
'Goal-line technology is different. It’s a crucial decision for a game. If you have the technology and you can guarantee it is fine then you have to see it.'
Two and a half years after his World Cup goal that wasn’t in Bloemfontein, Frank Lampard will finally witness FIFA’s belated introduction of goal-line technology.
'It’s been quite a long time coming,' said Lampard. 'We’re all well aware, not just of my goal or non-goal but especially so many crucial goals over the last few seasons in club and international football.
'It’s too important an issue to let it go any more. It’s a no-brainer to bring it in and make the calls correctly.'
England’s World Cup history is entwined with disputed line calls. In 1966 it was Geoff Hurst and in 2012 it was Lampard who was stunned to find a shot which cannoned off the crossbar, bounced well over the line and spun out had not been spotted by the officials. It would have made the score 2-2 but Germany went on to win 4-1.
'It was such a high-profile game in the World Cup, England against Germany and such a blatant case,' said Lampard. 'It made everybody sit up and take notice.
'Whether it’s close or not asking the human eye to make that quick decision isn’t always possible. We need to get it. With the business we’re in, it’s too crucial.
'I can’t say we would’ve won it but it would’ve been a different game. We talk about an emphatic defeat but if it had been 2-2 at half-time we would’ve had the momentum and we could’ve played without having to chase another goal straight away.
'It was painful that summer but not anymore. Football changes and I’ve moved on. It still catches the nerves a bit when I see it but I can’t dwell on that.”
At long last: Lampard is happy that goal-line
technology has finally been introduced to the game after his 'goal'
against Germany in the 2010 World Cup was ruled out even though the ball was a
metre over the line
Decisions made here by goal-line technology will be relayed solely to the referee on a wristband within 0.3 seconds but officials retain the authority to make the final decision.
Goal-line technology was finally voted in at the International FA Board meeting in July. This is its debut and, if it goes well, FIFA will expand it to other tournaments, like next year’s Confederations Cup and the World Cup in 2014.
'I think it will add magic,' said Lampard. 'I’m a big cricket fan and it’s added magic to cricket. We all want calls to be 100 per cent right, whether it goes for or against your team. It will clarify what has happened and it will be pretty exciting.
'But it should stop with this, with goal-line decisions. You need to respect the referee with every decision. We’re asking for a clear decision on goals, the most important part of the game. With the speed of the game at this level, you can’t ask any human to make that call correctly every time.'
Benitez won the European Cup at Liverpool with the help of Luis Garcia’s 'goal' against Chelsea which did not cross the line in the second leg of their semi-final.
'For example,' he grinned, when the memory was inevitably raised. It was the start of the intense rivalry between the two clubs, which is the reason Chelsea fans have protested against his appointment to succeed Roberto Di Matteo.
Dubious: Luis Garcia scored the only goal of the 2005 Champions League semi-final tie between Liverpool and Chelsea but there was huge doubt whether the ball crossed the line
'The referee will have a vibrating watch,' Benitez added. 'If it is quick, it will be fine.'
Hawk-Eye is also being used for the games in Toyota, where Corinthians beat Al-Ahly 1-0 yesterday to clinch a place in Sunday’s final.