The AFL has announced it is moving to ensure the farcical scenes of Christian Petracca’s decisive late goal against the Saints are not repeated again this season.
The league released a brief statement on Sunday to announce every venue for the remainder of the season will include goal-line technology cameras after the league dropped the ball in Alice Springs.
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The statement comes after the ARC Score Review on Saturday night was forced to refrain from returning a verdict over Petracca’s controversial goal because the lack of goal line vision left the score review official with only inconclusive evidence.
St Kilda defender Dougal Howard desperately dived to touch Petracca’s kick before it crossed the line, and the decision was sent upstairs for a Score Review with the soft call being a goal.
Unfortunately, no side-on camera angles were available for the one-off game at TIO Traeger Park in Alice Springs, so there was no conclusive evidence to overturn the on-field decision.
“We can see the ball is clearly touched, but there is insufficient evidence to confirm if this touch is before crossing the back of the goal line,” the ARC official said.
Petracca’s final goal proved a pivotal moment in the Round 15 encounter, with the Demons eventually winning the thrilling contest by just three points.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin panned the AFL for not having side-on cameras installed.
“If we can’t get the technology to a point where you can’t make accurate calls, it is better off not having it,” Goodwin argued.
“It was designed for the real obvious ones, but when you are trying to pick up touch ones from a fair way out or on the goal line, you need the technology at every venue.”
Channel 7 commentator Matthew Richardson said in commentary: “If you are going to have goal-line cameras you probably need them at every game”.
The AFL on Sunday said the correct call was ultimately made.
The goal umpire was also in the perfect position to rule on the close call.
“The AFL advises all venues hosting AFL matches for the rest of the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season (including finals) will have goal-line cameras installed, ensuring the best available vision and consistent technology is in place for each of the remaining games,” the statement claimed.
“The AFL fully supports the decisions of the goal umpire and the score reviewer in the circumstances during last night’s game at TIO Traeger Park, Alice Springs.”