TOKYO — Having experienced the bitter disappointment of a close goal-line decision going against him, Frank Lampard can see the benefits of referees having technology available to get it right.
The former Chelsea and England midfielder took part in a coaching session with local footballers on Thursday in Tokyo, where he was asked about the introduction of goal-line technology.
In England’s second-round match against Germany at the 2010 World Cup, Lampard had a first-half shot at goal that bounced off the crossbar. TV replays indicated it crossed the goal line. If counted, it would have tied the game 2-2. But neither the referee nor the assistant saw it as a goal, and play was continued. Germany went on to win 4-1, eliminating England from the tournament.
"Goal-line technology was a no-brainer," Lampard said. "My goal was just one moment, but we’re all very pleased that we have it now."
At last year’s Club World Cup in Japan, referees were allowed to get help from video replays in the first full, live in-game trial of the technology.
Referees were allowed to halt games to review footage of "game-changing decisions" on pitch-side monitors or just rely on information being fed by Video Assistant Referees (VARs) watching broadcast feeds away from the field.
Lampard retired last February, ending a 21-year career in which he won every major honour at club level with Chelsea and established himself as the Premier League’s highest-scoring midfielder.
While the introduction of goal-line technology is too late to really impact him as a player, Lampard says he likes what he sees so far — provided there are limits.
"Moving forward, I think we have to be very careful how much we go to technology," said Lampard, who doesn’t want to eliminate the human element of refereeing a game. "We have to make sure we are not trying to video every moment of a game, trying to make video decisions. Sometimes the referee will have a different opinion about whether something is a red card or a yellow card."