Can you name a world sporting administrative body that actually does good for the game it purports to support?
With such globally crass stupidity abundant, it’s difficult for one particular administrator to stand out as being the single most damagingly incapable. But if anyone can, it is football’s millstone, FIFA. And more specifically, it’s current boss, the international laughing stock that is Sepp Blatter.
At the annual meeting which can look at the game’s Laws (held this year on 5/6 March at the Welsh Ryder Cup venue), the issue of goal-line technology was again be discussed. And again kicked into long grass.
For those of you not familiar with this saga, every single grassroots fan thinks there should be technology deployed to help the officials realise when a goal has been scored if their view goes obscured. I have never spoken to any fan that thinks the Platini desired extra two linesman behind the goal line is anything but ridiculous and ineffective.
Those of us that watch rugby, cricket and most recently tennis see how readily technology can be decisively brought to bear. Common sense though is something that clearly eludes Blatter.
Here’s the current state of play.
The original English outfit that developed their awesome cricket capabilities, then expanded into tennis line calls, offered a working solution. FIFA did what they always do. The wrong thing. The solution went ignored. It cost the developers time and money and the fans any semblance of respect for FIFA that may have been left.
Then an absolutely amazing blunder occurred in Bloemfontein at the World Cup last Summer. A clear goal went un-awarded.
The clamour for technological adoption was so much in part because of the apparent use of tv to send off France’s Zidane in the previous championship’s Final game for his headbutt on the chest of the Italian defender Materazzi.
The suspicion is very much that the touchline based fourth official only caught the incident on a tv replay and consequently alerted the ref.
After much huffing and puffing, goal-line technology was back on the agenda. True fans though do not hold out much hope.
Where, I hear you wonder, is the link to solution selling here?
It’s all about the criteria that any potential solutions must meet.
Whenever you neither set the criteria with your prospect, nor consider them relevant or apt, then you should never enter into a bid run along their lines.
It’s a golden rule that is nearly always learned the hard way.
In FIFA’s instance, the criteria is risible. Four points must be adhered to. Here’s the third;
“The indication of whether a goal has been scored must be immediate and automatically confirmed within one second”
Anyone that knows anything about these things realises that this is an unnecessary and misleading stipulation. One it seems designed simply to ensure technology can never succeed.
There now appears a beauty pagent of ten suitors. Yet the one player with significant track record in this arena has, in effect, picked up their ball and taken it home. They write a terrific short letter on why the whole process is a sham.
They believe the criteria is skewed to the point of being unmeetable. It is biased against any proper decision from being made. In such circumstance, you have no alternative, no matter how wrenching, but to move on and pursue other endeavours.