New rule finally crosses the line
SOCCER:GOAL-LINE TECHNOLOGY to confirm whether or not the ball has crossed the line was approved by world soccer’s rule makers yesterday, ending a decade of debate and controversy. The International Football Association Board (Ifab) approved the use of two different technology systems which FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said would be used at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The technology is set to be introduced into English football as early as the new year. The Premier League will enter into talks with Hawk-Eye and GoalRef, the two manufacturers of the systems, about bringing it in as soon as midway through the season, and it could also be used for the coming season’s FA Cup semi-finals and final.
FA general secretary Alex Horne said the Hawk-Eye system installed at Wembley for a trial last month is still there – and could be switched on, tested and licensed for FA Cup and perhaps England matches at Wembley.
Horne said: “It is perfectly possible to introduce it halfway through the season. We have already got Hawk-Eye at Wembley. It needs to be calibrated and make sure it’s working properly and licensed so we are nearly there and we could turn Hawk-Eye on quite quickly.
“The FA Cup would be our decision and we could say for the semi-finals and finals of the FA Cup we could turn it on, I don’t think that is a very controversial decision. England is harder because we are part of someone else’s competition so we would need Fifa to agree that we could use that in that qualification campaign.
“”We need to go back and talk to the Premier League. Everything I hear is that they want it. We might as well agree which one we want to buy and then nail a deal together.”
Fifa president Sepp Blatter admitted he had changed his mind about goal-line technology after Frank Lampard’s ‘goal’ for England v Germany in the 2010 World Cup was missed, and the need for a system was highlighted again in Euro 2012 after Ukraine were denied a goal against England despite the ball crossing the line.
Blatter said: “For me as Fifa president it became evident the moment what happened in South Africa in 2010. I have to say ‘thank you Lampard’. I was completely down in South Africa when I saw that, it really shocked me, it took me a day to react. It happened again in Ukraine, and Ukraine can still not believe it now.”
Blatter insisted however that there would be no move to introduce any video replays or other technology to rule on other decisions such as offsides, fouls or diving. He said: “Other than the goal-line technology, football must preserve its human face.”
Horne added: “Goal-line technology is where this starts and finishes for us. None of us think technology interfering with the free-flowing nature of football is good for the game.”
English FA chairman David Bernstein also hailed the decision, saying: “I think it is a momentous day and I’m proud to have been part of this decision-making.”
The first introduction of the systems will be at Fifa’s Club World Cup in Japan in December with each system in one of the two stadiums. It will then be extended to next year’s Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.