Now that Fifa has agreed to consider technology to help its referees out, let the other Luddites follow.
Famous Luddite and Fifa president Sepp Blatter has come around to the position that technology can be used on the World Cup football field in the future to settle difficult decisions. So can the rest of his kind be far behind? Take the issue of conducting polygraph tests while investigating people accused of being criminals. Unlike camera technology already prevalent in cricket and tennis, ‘truth-finding’ tests may not be admissible in courts, but surely they can help in pursuing leads? The DNA test would have sounded like bunkum and deeply invasive once upon a time. After all, determining a child’s paternity is much more of a technological intervention than using slo-mo to make a call in a game of football.
And if you push the ball further into the technology vs ‘let human errors prevail’ debate, the brouhaha about genetically modified (GM) food being Frankenfood is not too unlike Blatter’s initial fear about a mechanical eye demeaning the job of human officials. If GM food is seen as being harmful per se because it is ‘unnatural’, cross-fertilisation and other standard farming procedures practised down the ages could also be deemed as horribly ‘against nature’.
Which doesn’t mean that goals/non-goals will stop being controversial once Fifa presses the green button to technology. We, cricket-watching folks with third umpires playing gods, certainly know that.