By James K. Attaglo Wilson

After 14 weeks of absentia due to the coronavirus+ pandemic, the English Premier League returned late this afternoon but with lots of drama as the ‘Hawk Eye’ technology denied Sheffield United a much needed win over Aston Villa, forcing the match to end in goalless.

Villa goalie – Orjan Nyland carried Oliver Norwood’s first half free kick into his own net, but referee Michael Oliver did not allow the goal to stand his goal line technology watch failed to buzz.

The referee apologized to Sheffield manager Chris Wilder for the failed technology.

Introduced in 2013, this is the first time the technology has fail to perform.

Hawk-eye Innovations, who run the technology issued a statement to explain what might have occasioned the failure and rendered an apology to that effect:

“During the first half of Aston Villa v Sheffield United match at Villa Park, there was a goal line incident where the ball was carried over the line by Aston Villa goalkeeper, No. 25 Nyland.

“The match officials did not receive a signal to the watch nor earpiece as per the Goal Decision System (GDS) protocol. The seven cameras located in the stands around the goal area were significantly occluded by the goalkeeper, defender, and goalpost. This level of occlusion has never been seen before in over 9,000 matches that the Hawk-Eye Goal Line Technology system has been in operation.

“The system was tested and proved functional prior to the start of the match in accordance with the IFAB Laws of The Game and confirmed as working by the match officials. The system has remained functional throughout. Hawk-Eye unreservedly apologises to the Premier League, Sheffield United, and everyone affected by this incident.”