Franz Beckenbauer has expressed sympathy for the controversial manner in which England bowed out of the World Cup and called for the introduction of technology to prevent such injustices in future.
Although Beckenbauer has repeatedly criticised England’s tactics during the World Cup, at one stage labelling Fabio Capello’s men a “kick and rush” team who had gone backwards under the Italian, he admits he felt sorry for them after Frank Lampard’s strike was not given.
The inexplicable decision not to award Lampard’s ’goal’, after the ball bounced off the underside of the bar and landed a clear two feet over the line, has been described in some quarters as German revenge for England’s third goal, scored by Geoff Hurst, in the 1966 World Cup final at Wembley.
Yet Beckenbauer, who was the victim on that occasion, does not see the comparison.
He accepts there will never be a definitive answer to whether Hurst’s shot crossed the line or not. Everyone knows Lampard’s did.
“I was sorry for England that Lampard’s goal was not spotted,” Beckenbauer told the South African Times.
“There is no comparison here to the famous Wembley goal scored by England in 1966 in the final against West Germany.
“Whether or not that shot from Geoff Hurst crossed the line is something you can still debate today, even if computer projections have shown that it wasn’t a goal.
“That Lampard’s shot landed behind the line is much clearer.”
Having ruled out the use of technology to assist match officials, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has conceded the matter has to be looked at again.
The influence of outside forces may end up being strictly limited, but any assistance is a good thing as far as Beckenbauer is concerned.
“I am pleased that the FIFA president wants to open the discussion again on perhaps using videos or microchip technology in the ball,” said Beckenbauer.
“There is also talk of additional match officials behind the goal.
“Whatever helps the cause of justice is also good for football. Just as long as it doesn’t get too complicated.”