Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Honesty upsets the natural order

@Miguel_BOTB explains why football might be right to resist goal-line technology (The Independent, 17 April 2012).

His argument is that from a commercial point of view, a successful sport needs permanent giants - providing instant name-recognition for all but the most dedicated fans. In football, these giants are Real Madrid and Barcelona, Manchester United and a handful of other clubs. Despite (or perhaps because of) the public anger expressed by the managers of these clubs when officials decide against them, officials tend to have an unconscious tendency to give them benefit of the doubt. This unconscious bias reinforces the status quo, and thereby supports the commercial agenda of the sport. Whereas goal-line technology would remove this small element of advantage.

‏@Miguel_BOTB adds "Never really cared much for goal-line technology debate but it's funny to watch the lengths FIFA will go to avoid implementing it." In other words, it is the resistance to change that prompts a POSIWID enquiry - to understand FIFA's true motives for resisting a given innovation, we have to look very closely at what the current system actually does.

The conflict of interest here is between the casual fans (who usually support the well-known clubs) and the dedicated fans (who support a much wider range of smaller clubs and often despise the big clubs). The dedicated fans would support football willy-nilly, so it makes commercial sense to give priority to the interests of the casual fans.

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