Goal-line technology moves a step closer as Fifa begins tests

Ten proposed systems will be tested next week ahead of a meeting of football's lawmakers in March

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
sepp blatter
Fifa President Sepp Blatter (Photo: Marcello Casal Jr. / ABr)

sepp blatter

Fifa has confirmed it will test 10 goal-line technology systems next week ahead of a meeting of football’s lawmakers in March.

The results of the experiments, which will take place behind closed doors at Fifa’s headquarters in Zurich between 7-13 February, will be presented to the International Football Association Board (IFAB) when it meets in Wales next month for its annual review of the sport’s laws.

Should the IFAB approve the principle of goal-line technology the next step would be an experimental phase in selected competitions.

The governing body requires each proposed system to prove that it is 100 per cent accurate and that it can confirm the decision to officials automatically within a second.

Goal-line technology was put back on the IFAB’s agenda following two major refereeing gaffes at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, including England midfielder Frank Lampard’s ‘goal’ against Germany that was not awarded.

Despite being a self-confessed advocate for human judgement, Fifa president Sepp Blatter admitted it would be “a nonsense not to reopen the file” on technology following the recent incidents and referred the matter to the IFAB.

Uefa president Michel Platini remains against the introduction of technology and is convinced his alternative system of an additional assistant referee behind each goal is sufficient.

“With additional referees you don’t need goal-line technology,” said Platini. “If you want to put goal-line technology in place, it will be for maybe one or two cases every five years. I want more justice but I want human justice, using human eyes.”

Other issues to be raised at the IFAB meeting next month include a proposed ban on players wearing snoods on the grounds of heath and safety and the possibility of equipping referees with “vanishing spray” to mark where defensive walls should stand.

The IFAB’s agreed principles for goal-line technology

• The technology would apply solely to the goal line, and only to determine whether a goal has been scored or not

• The system must be accurate

• The indication of whether a goal has been scored must be immediate and automatically confirmed within one second

• The indication of whether a goal has been scored will only be communicated to the match officials

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