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I have a vision and it troubles me.

A group of lads are playing 3-and-in in the school field. One of them drops a shoulder a fires a shot at goal, catching the keeper off guard.

He scrambles across to it, thinking he wants to save it, but secretly thinking he wants to come out of goal, so conceding is no disaster.

He gets his hands to the shot just behind the goal line, and apologises for not being quite alert enough. The thing is, the ball hadn’t gone over the line. It just looked to have.

One of the other lads, having seen Hawkeye on TV, jokingly appeals that he didn’t think it was in, and then the keeper, still holding the ball, goes back to painfully retrace his steps, proving the ball had crossed the line, though it hadn’t, he just thought it had.

I was a lad once. Admittedly, we more often than not played against a wall – you get sound clues off a wall – but the point of the game is knowing the keeper generally wants to come out of goal.

I think that’s what I see in the adoption of technology. Its forced honesty. That we’ve come so far that a player, or referee’s, judgments are rendered worthless because we can disprove them saddens me; football is a game, it should be played for, primarily, fun. That’s why I used to kick a ball about.

I know massive sums of money are involved, but not in the park. Don’t let 3-and-in keepers cheat. That’s what I’m saying.

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