Extend goal-line technology to the Championship? Controversy opens debate

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Fulham won 2-1 in Championship play Sunday after holding off a late push by Blackburn, a result which in and of itself isn’t exactly newsworthy.

How it came to pass, though, is.

With Fulham looking likely to cough up a 2-goal lead established after a positive opening 45 minutes at Craven Cottage, a Grant Hanley shot was cleared off the line by Whites’ Jamie O’Hara with in-form goalkeeper Andy Lonergan just out of reach. Replays showed the ball clearly crossed the line, but the goal was not given by referee Tony Harrington.

Goal-line technology exists in most of the bigger top flights across Europe, but it has not yet extended to the lower divisions in England. With more and more money being injected into the English game across all levels, that also means more money is at stake with every decision, and goal-line technology could be a solid investment for the FA.

Blackburn manager Gary Bowyer agreed with that sentiment. “There’s a massive prize in this league at the end of the season, a huge amount of money for getting to the Premier League where modern technology is applied.”

Fulham boss Kit Symons, meanwhile, is happy goal-line technology has waited until after today to show up in the lower leagues. “I’m not going to apologise for us having a bit of luck,” said Symons. “We’ve had a lot of bad luck to deal with. I’ve only seen the still of the ball afterwards and it looks like it’s over the line. I’ve always been an advocate of goalline technology but not today!”