Considering that a World Cup ref is once again under police surveillance (next stop, Witness Protection) as the result of a blown call, perhaps it’s finally time for FIFA to consider a long-overdue technology upgrade. May I suggest instant replay.
Or, if you’re one of those soccer purist types, maybe you’d prefer a ball that lights up like a slot machine when it crosses the goal line. Since my eyes still hurt from the NHL’s FoxTrax puck, I’m inclined to opt for the former, but what do I know?
Apparently very little, because a Mexico City-based development team is hard at work on a ball that would do just that. Aside from the aforementioned light show, it would also be able to “beam out TV replays” to prevent further refereeing gaffes. They have a point. I mean, if you somehow miss a TV replay of a DISCO BALL lighting up behind the net, perhaps refereeing isn’t for you.
Of course, many players are not too thrilled with the current Jabulani ball, which has been “praised” for its supermarket-like quality, so one can only imagine how this one would go over. My guess: not so much.
But if such technology is introduced into the Beautiful Game, it will only be after extensive rounds of real-world software testing. Here’s what the dev team is up against: