Note to my fellow England fans here:
Football is a human game, based on human decisions; it is a game that can be debated, is controversial, is subject to chance. When you concede that technology has the upper hand, not only does football lose the human interest but it becomes little more than something to place a bet on. Elements with an interest in the game may well want that – but the minute football concedes that decisions are no longer subject to human error is the minute that it, finally, concedes its soul to the money men.
Yes, it hurts, right now. But football is a game, not a business.
And at least now we can now enjoy the World Cup, properly. And, importantly, we should recognise that this is a cracking, classic counter-punching German side.
[Edit 29 June: Not really worth a new post, but Sepp Blatter, the FIFA President who has previously turned firmly away from using technology in football, has today apologised to England (and to Mexico) – and I’m sure we all feel better as a result of that. Ultimately, however, and on the key assumption that refs are neither biased nor deliberately making bad decisions, and I don’t think that either of those are really in question, these things do tend to even themselves out: you gain from some decisions; you lose from others. Usually, you tend to remember the ones you gain from and forget the others, mind. But that’s football and it’s also life itself, for which football continues to be a decent metaphor – you can’t iron out all the creases which make life worthwhile and it’s controversy and the resultant struggle which forces people to grow: remember this? How would that be reffed in the light of video replays and how would Beckham’s career have evolved subsequently?]