Goal-line technology plans delayed
Plans to use goal-line technology in 2012-13 English Premier League season put off for at least a year.
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2011 14:15
Hawk-Eye, widely used in tennis and cricket, is considered a front-runner for the new technology [GALLO/GETTY]

Goal-line technology is unlikely to be introduced in football matches until 2013, a member of the sport's rule-making body said Wednesday.

The English Premier League had hoped to have high-tech aids for referees in place by August 2012, but tests with about nine systems are only now about to start in stadiums across Europe on non-matchdays.

The International Football Association Board, which met on Tuesday, will not be able to approve any of the systems for use in professional matches until July.

"I think that'll be too late for season '12-13,'' IFAB member and English Football Association general secretary Alex Horne said.

"I think it'll be '13-14 because there's then a big capital decision-making process for any league or any competition who want to apply it.

"Do you have one technology for a competition, do you have multiple technologies for multiple competitions? There are big, big decisions for competitions to take.''

Accuracy worries

Nine systems were previously tested at FIFA headquarters before the last annual IFAB meeting in March but some manufacturers were unhappy that they were not in stadium conditions and the accuracy of the results was not deemed to be acceptable.

The Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology will oversee the new wave of tests.

"There's a phase of testing that will run up until March that will establish in basic principles whether technology can actually achieve reasonable accuracy - 90 percent, 99 percent, maybe 100 percent,'' Horne said at the Leaders in Football conference.

"It's happening live in stadia all around Europe. They can simulate light, they can simulate dark, they can simulate balls rolling across the line, balls being fired in from all different angles.

"Once they've established that, there'll be a second phase of testing against similar conditions, I believe ... if we can be clearly convinced that the technology all works under those conditions then that's good enough.''


Hawk-Eye, the Sony-owned company whose ball-tracking technology is used in tennis and cricket, is seen as a front-runner. But Horne said he hopes there will be competing systems that leagues and competitions can eventually chose from.

"Eight or nine are testing at the moment,'' he said.

"If they're all successful, they're all valid. There's not going to be one technology for all of world football.

"Multiple technologies, if they meet the criteria, will be available then to go into the market and people will buy. IFAB will license them as successful products and other products could join in later if they can reach the standards. It'll be a market competition.''

The IFAB panel is composed of four FIFA officials and the four British associations, with six votes required to pass a motion.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter reversed his opposition to tests after England was denied a goal in their second-round loss to Germany at last year's World Cup.

Blatter has said the technology could be in place at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, though that plan will likely be opposed by UEFA President Michel Platini. The former France great said he favours employing additional assistant referees beside each goal.

Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
President Poroshenko arrives in Washington on Thursday with money and military aid on his mind, analysts say.
Early players in private medicine often focused on volume over quality, turning many Chinese off for-profit care.
Al Jazeera asked people across Scotland what they think about the prospect of splitting from the United Kingdom.
Blogger critical of a lack of government transparency faces defamation lawsuit from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
join our mailing list