The FA repeated its call for goal-line technology on Saturday after Queens Park Rangers became the latest team to suffer from a clear case of human error in their Premier League defeat at Bolton Wanderers.
The west London club were denied a goal in the 20th minute of their relegation clash when Clint Hill’s close-range header was well over the line before being clawed out by Bolton keeper Adam Bogdan.
Referee Martin Atkinson and his assistant Bob Pollock failed to award a goal to QPR, whose sense of grievance would have been heightened by a look at the TV replays which showed the ball had travelled about two feet over the line.
To make matters worse QPR ended up losing 2-1 - a result that plunged them into the relegation zone.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter had always been against goal-line technology but recently relaxed his stance and the world governing body will decide in July which technology will be used in further trials.
The FA has long campaigned for technology to assist officials - a subject that gained momentum after England’s Frank Lampard had a goal denied against Germany in the 2010 World Cup finals after his shot hit the bar and bounced over the line.
“Following last week’s meeting of IFAB (International Football Association Board) the FA would like to reiterate our strong desire to see goal-line technology introduced as soon as possible,” Saturday’s FA statement said.
“The FA has been a leading proponent of goal-line technology for many years. We will continue to press for its introduction once further independent testing is complete later this year, so that anyone wishing to introduce the technology is able to do so at the earliest possible opportunity.”
QPR boss Mark Hughes rued the point his side were denied at the Reebok Stadium and had little sympathy for the officials who failed to spot Hill’s goal.
“The laughable thing is the FA have come out and said they are all for goal-line technology within an hour of the game finishing, I think that’s absolutely ludicrous, trying to protect the poor performances of the officials that they supply us,” he said. “It’s a joke.”
“Goal-line technology should come in, but until it comes in, do the job you’re supposed to do, which is check whether the ball goes over the line.
“You can’t hide behind the fact there isn’t goal-line technology to cover up a poor performance by the officials supplied.”
Even Bolton manager Owen Coyle sympathized with Hughes, despite his side benefiting from a clear error.
“Nobody is a bigger advocate of goal-line technology than myself, we had one this year against Chelsea when Kevin Davies scored a goal that wasn’t given,” he told Sky Sports.
“We saw what happened with England in the World Cup. I can totally understand how Mark will be feeling.”
There have been several high-profile cases of so-called “ghost goals” when the ball crosses the line but is deemed not to have done so by the officials, who are often unsighted.
One of the most memorable occasions was Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Pedro Mendez’s lob against Manchester United in 2005 that was dropped at least a yard over the line by Roy Carroll but the goal was not given.
Bolton were also victims in the 1997-98 season when they were denied a goal in a 0-0 draw against Everton when Gerry Taggert’s header was six inches over the line -- a result that ultimately cost them their top flight status and saved Everton.