FIFA Approves Use of Goal-Line Technology

Yesterday, 23 October, 2012, international football association FIFA announced that Hawk-Eye and GoalRef goal-line technology can be used, starting with the Club World Cup championship in December. had this to say about the announcement:

Goal-line technology providers GoalRef and Hawk-Eye have been authorised to install their systems worldwide after signing licence agreements with FIFA, soccer’s world governing body said on Tuesday.

The announcement came a year after FIFA began an exhaustive search for systems which could reliably detect whether or not a ball had crossed a goal-line.

Football’s rule-making body, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), approved the use of the technology in July following a series of incidents in which referees failed to see that the ball had crossed the goal-line.

The most infamous “phantom goals” were Frank Lampard’s effort for England in the World Cup second round match against Germany in 2010 and Sulley Muntari’s ‘goal’ for AC Milan in a top-of-the-table Serie A clash against Juventus last season.

WorldFootballReport says this in a post titled ‘Goal-line Tech: FIFA Approval Given':

Once a system has been installed in a stadium, the system undergoes a final inspection to check its functionality. This is carried out by an independent test institute, and the results of this so-called ‘final installation test’ must be successful. Premier League clubs may have this approval completed and in place by mid-December 2012.

On Twitter the conversation was quite interesting as can be seen from the following tweets:

@ESPNFC: GoalRef and Hawk-Eye have signed licence agreements with FIFA to install goal-line technology systems worldwide

@dommylloyd: Glad to see goal line technology being introduced, hopefully it won't interrupt the flow of the beautiful game #goallinetechnology

@segankure: People saying human error makes the game more interesting, get real! #GoalLineTechnology

@NickRodgers89: Fifa say they want the game on just like #GoalLineTechnology

@NigeCollins: About time! Install it asap #goallinetechnology

In a post done earlier this month, had made an appeal for FIFA and other sports such as baseball to appreciate the use of technology in football referee decisions:

In 2014, Brazil hosts the 20th iteration of the FIFA World Cup. With little time left before soccer’s biggest tournament, FIFA prepares to make radical technological changes to improve the much criticized officiating of the sport. Among their initiatives is goal-line technology, aimed to provide clarity on disputable goals.

While this prospect would elevate the state of play, there’s still a long road ahead to make this venture a reality by summer 2014.

FIFA has approved the “Hawk-Eye” and “GoalRef” devices as the goal-line technology to be utilized for the World Cup. The Hawk-Eye system consists of six to eight high-speed cameras that determine the precise location of the soccer ball. This data then is transmitted to video software in order to generate a three-dimensional image of the ball’s course. Referees will learn if a goal was indeed legitimate, within one second of the play. Working simultaneously, GoalRef tracks the ball’s path via magnetic sensors near the goal, informing refs of a score via radio signal on their watches, again, within a second of the play.

Should goal-line technology quickly become the norm in soccer, the 2014 World Cup is bound to be officiated more accurately than any World Cup in the past. A lot of gradual steps need to materialize between now and summer 2014, to ensure for Brazilians that their national sport is showcased on their home turf without any controversial game-deciding goals.

The Footy Blog also made a brief note on the announcement and had this to say:

This should be the most boring story of the world, and yet the Twitter replies to the news include a “noooo!” and “Dislike.” But why?

FIFA have extensively tested the technology in trials, and it passed with flying colours. Is it really that romantic for goals that should be given disallowed? Or vice versa? Is technology that helps referees automatically bad? I honestly don’t understand the opposition to this at all.

This announcement is bound to change the way the game of football has been decided over the last couple of years. After initially firmly refusing to interfere with play, FIFA leaders seem to have appreciated the need for a ‘third eye’ to aid make informed decisions by referees on contentious goals and other action around the goal-mouth.

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