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  • Published: Jun 8th, 2012
  • Category: Soccer
  • Comments: Comments Off on Goal-Line Camera Technology Trials Come To Football

Goal-Line Camera Technology Trials Come To Football

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Austrian Forward Rubin Okotie tries to score o...

Austrian Forward Rubin Okotie tries to score on Congo Goalkeeper Destin Onka at the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Onka makes the save. Shot at Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After years of anger, relief, frustration and torment caused to fans, and just as many years of back and forth discussion with FIFA, the Football Association has agreed to trial Hawk Eye goal-line technology in an upcoming football game.

Having been a fundamental and vital part of sports such as tennis and cricket for some years now, many angered and amazed football fans have spent decades watching FIFA blow off requests for the technology to find its place in the beautiful game, but weeks of talks between the association and Haw

k Eye – the technology’s originators – has finally seen it brought to the table – or rather the field.

The technology has actually already been trialled once before in the Hampshire Senior Cup final earlier this month, though there were considerably less critical eyes paying attention than there will be at the expected 85,000 capacity Wembley sell out of England v. Belgium on June 2nd.

How it works

The technology will work through six cameras installed at each goal line feeding video footage through to a small collection of testers who will be analysing the results. Even the game’s officials will be kept ‘out of the loop’ in the process, meaning that if there were a disputed incident in the trial games the technology would have no influence over the final decision.

The Hawk Eye system runs in competition against GoalRef; a system that utilises low magnetic fields which, when passed through fully by a ball, detects the change and instantly sends the report to the game’s officials through encrypted radio signals. Due to the nature of the procedure, a small chip is required to be embedded within the football.

A decision

GoalRef is set to be tested on the same day in the Denmark v. Australia friendly, and the Football Association Board say that a successful result with either technology could lead to the approval of goal-line technology in a meeting at the beginning of July.

Of course, this approval may depend largely on whether there are any such disputes in the trialling games in the run up to the meeting, and so for possibly the first time in history we may be part of a whole host of football fans desperately praying for an incident of this nature.

We could also be tempted to ask what the decision would be if such an upset were to occur in the trials of one system but not the other – surely the Board could not approve one system over another purely on the basis that they have seen it in action? Whatever the answers, these are set to be some of the most excited friendlies in quite a while.

Rob actively wrties about technology and sport for online glasses experts Direct Sight.

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XI Gifted Footballers

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When it comes to talented footballers there have been many and this XI is by no means definitive. These guys are picked for their footballing gifts rather than achievements, which means there is one or two you might not normally find in fantasy line-ups and as such, there are a few controversial omissions too. There is no denying they are amongst the best to have ever played the game. However this team, if it were to play together it would probably be considered a little temperamental. I’ve gone for a basic 4-4-2 line up, plus a keeper.

Keeper – Lev Yashin

This Polish cat between the sticks was known as the Black Spider because of his black kit and unbelievable ability. He is the only goalkeeper to have been named European footballer of the year. He played for Moscow Dynamo in the 50s and helped them to win five league titles and three cups.

Left Back – Roberto Carlos

Tough choice, but for his attacking flare, apocalyptically powerful left foot and love of a freekick he makes the starting XI. Closely pushed all the way though by Paolo Maldini who is the epitome of Italian football in his defensive solidity.

Right Back – Carlos Alberto Torres

There hasn’t been a better attacking right back in the history of football and of all those that have come close, they were copying a mould set by this guy. He also captained the 1970 World Cup winning Brazil team, you know the one? Yup that one, considered the best team of the modern era ever…

Centre Back – Lillian Thuram

Simply one of the best defenders of all time. He also scored twice for France in the 1998 World Cup 2-1 semi-final victory of Croatia after his side had gone behind. The team went on to win the tournament defeating Brazil in the final. Not bad at all.

Centre Back – Lothar Matthaus

Ok, this might be a little controversial, considering Lothar is remembered mainly as a box to box midfielder. However, he played a-plenty at the back too. And any player described by Maradona as the ‘best rival I’ve ever had’ is a shoo-in.

Centre Midfield – Franz Beckenbauer

Franz would complement Lothar impeccably creating a German spine of efficient ferocity, the two would be almost interchangeable. Nicknamed ‘Der Kaiser’ Franz is the only man to captain and manage World Cup winning sides.

Centre Midfield – Zinedine Zidane

Now for some real flair. ‘Zizou’ is arguably the greatest modern footballer. Gifted, creative, inventive and took France to World Cup (scoring twice in the final) and Euro titles in 1998 and 2000. He has been FIFA World Player of the Year three times and has also won the European Champions League. He is literally ‘the business’ and as if this wasn’t enough he came out of retirement to captain and single-handedly drag France to the 2006 World Cup Final were he scored and was then sent off. His crime was a spectacular head butt to Italian defender Marco Materazzi after he’d goaded Zindane with a lewd insult about his sister. Zidane. Is. A. Living. Legend.

Left Midfield – Garrincha

This guy was amazing. He played for Brazil in the 50s and 60s and was referred to by the people of Brazil affectionately as the ‘Joy of the People’ and the ‘Angel with Bent Legs’. A dribbler extraordinaire Garrincha was born with a deformed spine, a right leg that bent in and a left leg that was six centimetres shorter than his right. Brazil never lost when he and Pele played together. One famous moment for this footballing genius was dribbling past four defenders, beating the keeper then rather than slotting into an empty net waiting for a defender to get back, beating him again and then scoring. He was also along with Pele one of the instigators of what is often referred to as the best three minutes of football ever played, the opening of Brazil vs USSR in the 1958 World Cup Finals.

Right Midfield – Paul Gascoigne

I had to have an Englishman in the line up, and this guy is a one of, and one of the best to have ever played the game. Ok, he played centrally but I’d have him drifting in from the right. Gazza was mercurial in his style of play, able to ‘see’ the game like no one else. And who can forget the tragedy of the 1990 World Cup semi-finals where he received a yellow card and instantly began to sob at the thought of missing the final should England go through. What passion! As it turned out, they didn’t.

Forward – Pele

It’s Pele. Do I need to say anymore?

Forward – Diego Maradona

Diego had ability to burn, but was plagued by a cocaine addiction. Nevertheless his talent is undeniable and the goal he scored against England in the 1986 World Cup, the one where he dribbled past what seemed like the entire team, not the one where he punched it into the net, is among the best of all time. He captained the team to victory in the same tournament.

And that is the starting XI. What a team! As I make it there are four World Cup winning captains and at least three players with serious addiction problems… interesting. The talent, the gifts they had when the ball was at their feet is what we most closely align with them though. Icons of the game each and every one. What a beautiful game!

When not tweaking his fantasy football team John Evans contributes to the two websites Wedding Digest and Gifts Today.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Feb 19th, 2012
  • Category: Other
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Cricket, Lovely Cricket

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Image via Wikipedia

All over the globe, there are aspects of life that can make noticeable contributions to the very identity of a particular location, and in England it’s the game of cricket. The sport is popular in various pockets of the world such as Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, the Caribbean and the Indian sub-continent, but in many countries it’s rarely played and sometimes barely even understood. But if you have never really seen what the appeal of it is, perhaps it’s time to try a little harder.

Cricket has been around for centuries, and it’s a huge contrast of a sport. It can be slow-paced and cerebral, yet it can also be wildly exciting and abandoned. On some occasions it rewards patience, yet on others it requires throwing caution to the wind. It has always been thought of as a gentleman’s game, but it produces occasional bouts of ill-temper and gamesmanship that will hit the headlines all over the world.

The rewards in the professional game are plentiful if you get to the top of the tree, but no-one has ever played the game just for the money. Fast bowlers from Pakistan, all-rounders from West Indies and opening batsmen from New Zealand will all tell you it’s the love of the sport that drives them on, not the promise of a hefty pay packet when the game has finished. It’s truly a purist’s pursuit, and that’s why so many people enjoy it.

To be in England when the sun shines

In England, the love affair with cricket goes right back to the birth of the game, and many legends of the sport have become household names over those years. From WG Grace and Jack Hobbs to Ian Botham and Kevin Pietersen, the game has always created superstars, yet it remains a true grass roots phenomenon, and a drive through the nation’s rural backwaters is enough to convince you of its importance.

From Cornwall in the south-west to Northumberland in the north-east, there are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of village cricket clubs which play throughout the summer. Organised matches have been around for hundreds of years, and wherever you are in England on a weekend in July, the chances are you won’t be far away from a local game, so why not stroll over and take a look at what’s going on?

At one time, cricket was the preserve of the very wealthy, but that all changed many moons ago. These days, a village side is likely to feature accountants and gentleman farmers playing alongside bricklayers and electricians, all brought together by the love of this intriguing sport. Next time you visit England, be sure to head for a cricket match and see why this passionate affair continues.

David Rice is a UK writer and a keen fan of cricket. He often attends matches at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. Car hire in the area is affordable, and so is hotel accommodation.

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The State of English Football Today

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Soccer

Soccer

The English Premier League is widely regarding as one of the most competitive leagues in world football. And yet, since it’s inception in 1993 only four teams have managed to win the title: Manchester United (12 times), Arsenal and Chelsea (3 times) and Blackburn Rovers (once).

Other teams have attempted to break this domination, usually with the help of some hefty foreign financial backing, including Liverpool, Tottenham and, most recently, Manchester City. As the form begins to settle down for the 2011/2012 season the old familiar faces are appearing at the top of the table and the rest will be left fighting for scraps or desperately trying to avoid relegation.

So where do we get this complacency about our league? Is it the influx of foreign players? Perhaps. But the novelty of watching the biggest names on the international stage plying their trade at Stamford Bridge or Old Trafford has surely worn off. The effects on our national team have been well documented with no sign of a trophy to add to our 1966 World Cup. Hopes of anything appearing in the trophy cabinet any time soon will have taken a dent with our recent scrambled qualification for Euro 2012 via a 2-2 draw in Montenegro and our “star player” sent off for a loutish kick that would have been better suited to a Sunday pub team.

What is perhaps more remarkable is the fact that the collective debt of those clubs fortunate enough to enjoy life in the Premiership is a staggering £3.3 billion. This is often blamed on ridiculous transfer fees and enormous wages needed to attract the biggest names from around the world. Chelsea smashed the record to prize Fernando Torres away from Liverpool for £50 million. Spurs and, possibly future England boss, Harry Redknapp bemoaned the huge amount of money being spent on players and then tried to force Chelsea to go to £40 million to buy Luka Modric. As good a player as he is…is he really worth £40 million? So why is nothing being done to put a stop to it?

The cream of the Premiership are forever boasting about their youth squads and yet the fill them up with youngsters snapped up from abroad. Every year they farm out these “promising youngsters” either on loan deals or to the lower divisions. As long as the Premiership continues to be run in the same way as the country, piling debt upon debt as if there is no tomorrow, then nothing will change.

We have already witnessed the decline of the League Cup into a reserve team competition. The F.A. Cup is heading in the same direction as the emphasis is put on the so-called “Champions League”. It is not a league, it is a cup which is dragged out by its qualifying pool stages before the knockout stages begin. The theory goes that our home-grown talent will benefit from playing with the best on the European stage. In reality it is a gravy train for the big boys. Our best young talent has to gain experience by watching from the substitutes bench and hoping to get 20 minutes during the qualifying stages.

So what became of the good old English game? Players ankle-deep in mud, hoofing it up to the big centre-forward. Well that still exists but is the reserve of the less-fortunate teams that get to compete against the super-rich. Every now and then they will use home advantage combined with a wet and windy British winter to stun their wealthier rivals and send them packing. However, when the points are added up at the end of the season the gulf in class is clear for all to see.

So is our Premier League the best club competition in the world or is it a sell-out of our national game to the television companies and a playground for wealthy investors? You will have to draw your own conclusions.

This is a guest post written by Harvey Mayson, Harvey is a writer for libertygames.co.uk a football tables specialist.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Mar 31st, 2011
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Limp Losers or Gourmet Greats

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As you walk in to a fast food establishment you’re likely to be enticed by the alluring advertised images on the menu.  But in fact what you actually get in reality is a limp, flaccid imitation based on over ambitious promises and over-pricing.  In many ways the fast food industry reflects the story of many misjudged signings by Premier League clubs since its inception 1992. Only time will tell if mega-signings Fernando Torres and Roy Carroll will be limp losers or gourmet greats. Here are the five worst signings made in the history of the Premier League.

burger

Thomas Brolin

The former Swedish international was a complete and utter flop during his spell with Leeds. As a promising youngster, his superb goal sent England out of Euro 92. At the peak of his powers, Brolin was strong, graceful and technically gifted.  But Brolin’s powers ebbed away as quickly as he piled on the pounds as many wondered if he was in fact the long lost twin brother of golfer Jon Daly. However, despite the striker’s demise, Howard Wilkinson saw him as the perfect foil for the club’s top scorer Tony Yeboah, paying Parma £4.5 million for the Swedish striker’s services in 1995. In two years at Elland Road, Brolin made just 19 appearances.

Andriy Shevchenko

Before his ill-fated spell at Chelsea, Shevchenko had been one of the most feared strikers in European football.  Understandably, there was much hype over his £30million arrival at Stamford Bridge in 2006. However the Ukrainian found himself permanently on the bench behind Didier Drogba after consistently failing to find the back of the net. With just 14 goals in 51 appearances, Chelsea loaned Shevchenko back to Milan where he failed to hit the dizzying heights of his first spell with the Italian outfit. He made the move back to his first club Dynamo Kiev for just a fraction of his original transfer.

Juan Sebastian Veron

A player that have could quite easily have appeared  twice in this list, but to spare the Argentinian’s blushes,  his hapless spells with  Manchester United and Chelsea have been placed together. Veron completely failed to adjust to English football after a successful time plying his trade in Italy. In 2001 Manchester United acquired the services of the playmaker for a record fee of £28 million from Italian side Lazio. The midfielder clearly struggled to adapt to the pace of the English game, not being allowed  the time and space he was allowed in Serie A. However, this stop don’t Roman Abramovich from splashing out £15million for Veron’s services for Chelsea. The midfielder failed yet again to fulfil his potential and was farmed out on loan to Inter Milan in 2004, where he subsequently returned to form winning a Serie A title and two Italian Cups. Must be the British weather I guess.

Massimo Taibi

Sir Alex Ferguson identified the Italian as the ideal replacement for Peter Schmeichel, the omnipresent tracksuit bottoms should have caused Sir Alex to pause for thought. Manchester United splashed out £4.5million on Venezia journeyman Massimo Taibi. After earning rave reviews in Italy, Taibi’s spell was more like that of a raving madman. Taibi conceded two sloppy goals at Liverpool on his debut and one to Wimbledon the following week. And it didn’t end there. Southampton scored three at Old Trafford including a Matt Le Tissier shot that squeezed through Taibi’s legs, a shot so soft that it barely crossed the line. His agony continued, Chelsea smashed five past him at Stamford Bridge the following week. His Italian job was over a little more than a month after it began. Taibi rotted in the United reserves until Reggina took him on loan and then permanently signed him for £2.5million at the end of the season. Surely United’s worst keeper ever – in a competitive field featuring Mark Bosnich.

Ali Dia

Was he George Weah’s cousin? It’s highly unlikely. What is probable though is that Ai Dia was arguably the worst player in the history of the Premier League. Having failed a trial at Rotherham United, Dia was signed by Southampton manager Graeme Souness in 1996. Souness received a phone call purporting to be from former World Player of the Year George. In fact the call was from Dia’s agent, who falsely claimed his client was a Senegalese international and had played for Paris St Germain. Dia played just one game for the Saints, against Leeds United in November 1996. He came on for Matthew Le Tissier who was substituted after 32 minutes but hi performance was spectacularly below Premier League quality. It took Souness a whole 52 minutes to suss he’d been had. Dia was substituted and never played for Southampton again.

 

Aidan Donovan is a copywriter for Justeat that deal with a number of takeaways across the UK from Chinese Birmingham establishments to Pizza delivery

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