Goal-line technology in football given green light by IFAB

The International Football Association Board unanimously votes in favour of the introduction of goal-line technology in football

goal-line technology in football
Some early tests took place at the Home of Fifa last year Photo: Courtesy of Fifa

goal-line technology in football

Goal-line technology could be introduced in the Premier League next season after it was finally given the green light by the International Football Association Board (Ifab).

Following a special meeting in Zurich on Thursday, the Ifab unanimously voted to approve two systems, Hawk-Eye and GoalRef, meaning competitions such as the Premier League and FA Cup are now free to introduce the technology.

“These companies now have to produce a number of systems which any event organiser can use,” said Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke. “Fifa have decided to use the system at the Club World Cup [in December] and if it’s working, at the Confederations Cup [in 2013] and World Cup in 2014.

“There will be a final test every time a new system is installed in a stadium.”

The Premier League hinted at a possible introduction for next season in a statement released following the approval of the technology.

“The Premier League has been a long-term advocate of goal line technology,” read a Premier League statement.

“We will engage in discussions with both Hawk-Eye and GoalRef in the near future with a view to introducing goal-line technology as soon as is practically possible.”

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has recently said that the start of the 2012-13 season may be too soon for the technology to be brought in, but refused to rule out the possibility of implementing a system mid-way through the campaign.

“Today is a hugely important day,” said FA general secretary Alex Horne. “It’s a cause we’ve had on our agenda for a number of years. The rigour we’ve given it in terms of making sure the systems are entirely robust are absolutely right and it’s a great day for football.”

Commenting on the prospect of the technology being brought in mid-way through next season, Horne added: “If all 20 clubs agree that there is a ‘switch on’ weekend then I don’t think any clubs would be disadvantaged.”

Ifab were keen to stress that the final decision over whether a goal is awarded or not lies with the referee.

The absence of goal-line technology has been thrown under the spotlight in recent major international tournaments, with Frank Lampard’s ‘ghost goal’ against Germany at the 2010 World Cup bringing the issue to the fore.

Ukraine were then denied what looked to be a legitimate goal during England’s 1-0 win over the co-hosts at this summer’s European championship, despite the presence of an additional assistant behind the goal.

The incident at Euro 2012 last month prompted Fifa president, who was previously against the introduction of the technology, to lead calls for it to be brought into the game.

Ifab also voted unanimously in favour of two additional referees behind each goal, a system trialled for the last two seasons in Uefa competitions, including this summer’s European championship.

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