Goal-line Technology Coming Soon to a Soccer League — and Stadium TV Screen — Near You

Here at last:
EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — FIFA will allow goal-line technology decisions to be shown to fans on big screens in stadiums and television viewers.

In a document to be assessed by soccer’s rule-makers on Saturday, FIFA has reversed its previous stance that referees could be undermined
if the results from the high-tech aids were revealed.

FIFA will allow leagues, such as Major League Soccer to decide whether to use replays that are shown to fans. However, referees will have the power to ignore the goal-line decisions.

“The question of whether and how replays are shown on TV or on an LED screen in a stadium should be one of the first discussion points when starting the implementation of goal-line technology in a competition,” says a FIFA document on the implementation of goal-line technology.

English FA General Secretary Alex Horne said he would welcome television viewers being able to see how a device ruled on a disputed goal.

Goal-line technology had divided meetings of soccer’s rule-making panel for years until FIFA President Sepp Blatter reversed his opposition and it was officially sanctioned last July.

The big decisions will now center on which goal-line technology systems to use.

As FIFA’s leadership was arriving in Edinburgh, the organization announced on Friday that a fourth system had been licensed. GoalControl-4D, which uses seven high-speed cameras aimed at each goalmouth, joins another camera-based system, Hawk-Eye, and two other projects — GoalRef and Cairos — which use magnetic field technology to judge if the ball crossed the line.

All four systems meet FIFA’s requirement that a signal is transmitted to the referee’s watch within one second if a goal should be awarded.

Hawk-Eye and GoalRef were approved last year and used at the Club World Cup in Japan in December. FIFA has invited tenders for selection to be used at the Confederations Cup in Brazil in June and the 2014 World Cup.

Domestic competitions are also racing to introduce technology, with the English Premier League on course for systems to be installed by the new season in August.

Horne said the Community Shield, the season curtain raiser at Wembley in August between the FA Cup winners and Premier League champions, will be the first time technology is used officially in a match in England.

But FIFA also disclosed in its latest document that referees harboring doubts about the accuracy of technology in a particular stadium can decide up to 45 minutes before kickoff to switch it off.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group columnist and blogger Nick Green writes about soccer at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • http://twitter.com/s_mcfadyen Steve McFadyen

    Good to see this finally arrive!