Starting today is FIFA’s Club World Cup – otherwise known as the “tournament FIFA wants us to care about … but most of us just cannot get there.”
It’s a shame in some ways, because there certainly are a couple of fancy teams showing up in Japan for an event that features champions from each of the six continental confederations.
The tournament starts a crawl as Japan’s Sanfrecce Hiroshima meets Australia’s Auckland City FC inside the International Stadium of Yokohama. The winner moves into a quarterfinal contest Egypt’s Al-Ahly SC. Yes, that one.
But soon enough, Corinthians from Brazil will make the scene, in addition to Monterrey from Mexico and European champions Chelsea – never mind that recently emplaced manager Rafa Benitez and his men in Blue aren’t playing much like Euro heavies these days.
But even if you cannot work out a good “give a care” about a tournament to be played mostly in the wee smalls in our land, you should care about the major breakthrough at hand. Goal line technology makes its long-awaited debut in Japan over the next few days.
There are two systems to that have gained official FIFA sanction, and both will be employed during the 10-day tournament.
Both methods – one is chip-based and one is camera-based – will be used. Both have been employed in test mode previously, but this is the debut roll out with refereeing involvement, the first time the modern technology will be used as part of the laws of the game.