Watch: Goal-line technology howler robs Sheffield United goal; HawkEye apologies

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Jun 18, 2020, 01:00 PM(IST)

Watch: Goal-line technology howler robs Sheffield United goal; HawkEye apologies Photograph:( AFP )

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Fans, pundits and even the players were left baffled after a Sheffield United goal was not given despite the ball clearly crossing the line after Aston Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland flapped at a deadly inswinging left-wing cross from Ollie Norwood before taking the ball over the goal-line. https://www.wionews.com/topics/premier-league

After three long months, Premier League finally resumed the 2019-20 season with Aston Villa and Sheffield United locking horns. While the match ended in a goalless draw, a massive error stole the limelight from the much-awaited resumption. 

Fans, pundits and even the players were left baffled after a Sheffield United goal was not given despite the ball clearly crossing the line after Aston Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland flapped at a deadly inswinging left-wing cross from Ollie Norwood before taking the ball over the goal-line. 

Usually, whenever a ball crosses the goal-line, the match referee receives a signal on his watch. However, on Wednesday, referee Michael Oliver didn’t receive anything and allowed the game to continue. Even Video Assistant Referee (VAR) didn’t intervene as the onus was on the goal-line technology to resolve the issue. It was an unprecedented moment and the year 2020 couldn’t have surprised us more. 

ALSO READ: Sheffield United denied by tech error in 0-0 draw with Aston Villa

Unprecedented howler

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Bosses from goal-line technology providers HawkEye issued an apology after the system failed to pick up the clear goal with fans and pundits terming the incident as a major howler. 

'During the first half of Aston Villa v Sheffield United match at Villa Park, there was a goalline incident where the ball was carried over the line by Aston Villa goalkeeper, No. 25 Nyland,' the statement read.

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'The match officials did not receive a signal to the watch nor earpiece as per the Goal Decision System (GDS) protocol.

The seven cameras located in the stands around the goal area were significantly occluded by the goalkeeper, defender, and goalpost.

'This level of occlusion has never been seen before in over 9,000 matches that the Hawk-Eye Goal Line Technology system has been in operation.

'The system was tested and proved functional prior to the start of the match in accordance with the IFAB Laws of The Game and confirmed as working by the match officials. 

'The system has remained functional throughout. HawkEye unreservedly apologises to the Premier League, Sheffield United, and everyone affected by this incident.' 

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The incident becomes more crucial as Sheffield United are battling for a European championship spot in what has been a tight battle from the Blades against some of the big clubs of English football. Two more points could turn out to be massive when the season ends. 

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A report stated that the technology was working throughout the game and that Oliver’s watch indicated ‘goal’ during half-time when substitutes were warming up by shooting the ball into the net.

However, Sheffield boss Chris Wilder insisted it was clear the ball was over and said VAR should have come to the rescue.

"It was in the Holte End, the goalkeeper was in the Holte End and eight rows back. Everyone knew it, saw it and felt it," he said.

"I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Already the jokes have started. It's all going to come out but we're pretty disappointed and we've got to get on with it.

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"I believe a decision should have been made from Stockley Park (the VAR centre). For someone to tell me with seven cameras and this is the first time it's happened in over 9,000 games it's a difficult one to take.

"We've got Chris Kavanagh (fourth official), one of the best referees in the Premier League and Michael Oliver possibly one of the best referees in Europe and if you ask them they'll be scratching their heads over how this situation occurred.

"We believe it should have been referred (to VAR)."
 

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