Given the increasingly high profile of Africa’s finest football competition, it’s no wonder that the debate of how much influence technology should play in the sport has been raised once more.
Just 13 minutes in, we had our first reason to question a referee’s decision after Ghana were wrongfully awarded a penalty just minutes before Burkina Faso’s Jonathan Pitroipa went down in the opposition box to be denied the same outcome—again, wrongfully so.
Apart from fouls, there was also a series of goal-line clearances in the match, several of which were at the expense of the shooting Aristide Bancé who saw his efforts dismissed as goals.
On review, these particular decisions would appear to have been correct ones but that does nothing in disproving the notion that such occurrences could be decided much more easily and with more accuracy were some form of goal-line technology in play.
The latest, and perhaps most substantial reason for retrospective decision to be introduced came in the 117th minute when Jonathan Pitroipa was incorrectly judged to have dived in the box, earning a second yellow card for simulation and being sent off.
As a result, the midfielder will have no part to play in his country’s first ever Africa Cup of Nations final and is a massive loss to the Burkina Faso squad.
In other sports, the ability to look back at footage and make retrospective calls on certain matters has proven to do nothing but improve the overall accuracy of the game.
While these changes are slowly being introduced in football, there’s a lot to be said for how long such changes have taken and the lurching nature of their deployment.