Sunderland fan in goal-line technology protest

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A BLACK Cats fan has cancelled his season ticket in protest against the introduction of goal-line technology.

Ian Purvis, who has followed Sunderland AFC for four decades, decided to take the drastic action after hearing of the controversial move, which is planned this season.

The 52-year-old, who grew up in Easington Lane but now lives in Berkshire, has made the 600-mile journey on a weekend for years but has now decided to stop.

“I have been going to see them play for 35 years and I have a fantastic set of mates who I watch the games with when I come up,” he said.

“Sunderland has been my life for a long time. I love the city, I love the club and I love the people.

“But I agree with the notion that football should be played the same way at all levels, so for me goal-line technology is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“I think there’s definitely a groundswell of discontent with football fans of a certain generation about the decision to introduce it.

“Sadly I think it’s all about money and that is what’s spoiling the game.

“My friends have tried to persuade me not to do it, but they know where I’m coming from.”

Mr Purvis, who has travelled to the United States, Canada and Germany to see Sunderland play, said his protest is not against the team but against football in general.

“This is the only way I can show my protest to football as a whole,” he said. “It’s definitely not a response to anything that Sunderland has done wrong. I have just become disillusioned with the game. But it’s definitely been a really tough decision.”

This week, football governing body Fifa approved the new technology, which will assist referees in knowing if the ball has crossed the line during a game.

One of the systems which has been tested is Hawk-Eye, which is currently used in tennis and cricket.

It is reported that the Premier League could adopt the change during the coming season and that it could cost up to £160,000 to install at each stadium.

Twitter: @tomwhite7