FIFA step towards goal-line technology

World football’s governing body announce two-stage testing programme for goal-line technology.

Heurelho Gomes
Frank Lampard’s goal for England was disallowed against Germany at the World Cup 2010, despite replays later showing the ball crossed the line [GALLO/GETTY]

FIFA appear to have finally started listening to their critics with the announcement of a trial for goal-line technology systems on Tuesday.

World football’s governing body published a timetable for the introduction of the technology with the first stage to be held later this year and a final report to be presented to FIFA in July 2012.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who was opposed to goal-line technology until an incident in last year’s Germany-England World Cup match, has already said that it could be used at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil if a suitable system could be found in time.

Testing phase

It was a timely announcement, coming just three days after Chelsea beat Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League with a controversial goal in which replays showed the ball did not cross the line.

Chelsea came from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 with their equaliser coming from a Frank Lampard shot which did not completely cross the line

It was Lampard’s notorious “ghost goal'” against Germany at the 2010 World Cup – when his shot did not count despite bouncing down off the cross bar beyond the goal line – that persuaded FIFA President Sepp Blatter to end his long-standing opposition to technology and revive the debate.

Blatter apologised to English officials after watching Germany’s 4-1 win in South Africa.

“The final results of this evaluation will be presented to the International Football Association Board (IFAB) at a special meeting in July 2012,” FIFA said in a statement.

“The tests will be conducted in two phases at a football stadium selected by the respective technology providers, in consultation with FIFA.”

About 10 different goal-line technology systems have been tested but so far none have been up to the necessary standard, according to the IFAB.

The first battery of tests in daylight and floodlit conditions between September and December 2011 will check the required goal scoring indicator to a bracelet worn by the referee, the range of the signal and demand 90 to 100 per cent accuracy on different types of shots.

The standards will be raised on a second set of tests on shortlisted equipment from March to June 2012 under simulated match conditions, different surfaces and weather conditions.

The IFAB – made up of FIFA and the football associations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – decided in March to look at technological aids again.

IFAB includes four representatives of FIFA and one each from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Six votes are necessary for approval.

Prior to the 2010 World Cup, the Welsh and Northern Irish backed Blatter by voting to keep technology out of football.

FIFA conducted private testing for 10 systems in February but all of them failed to meet the exacting requirements.

In the meantime, a new system with two extra linesman – one behind each goal-line – is being tested in a number of competitions including the Champions League. 

Source: News Agencies