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At last! Wembley to host goal-line technology trial

FIFA will test out the Hawk-Eye system during England’s friendly international with Belgium on 2 June.

Image: MARTIN MEJIA/AP/Press Association Images

GOAL-LINE TECHNOLOGY will be tested in an international match for the first time, when England take on Belgium in a Euro 2012 warm-up, FIFA said today.

The system, developed by British firm Hawk-Eye, will be put through its paces during the match at Wembley on 2 June, after a previous trial at an amateur league cup final on England’s south coast earlier this month.

FIFA is currently testing two goal-line technology systems — the other is the German GoalRef, which was recently used in two Danish league matches — with a view to its introduction after a series of high-profile disputed refereeing decisions.

The sport’s governing body said that match officials in England’s final warm-up game before the tournament in Poland and Ukraine would not use the technology in the event of a goal-line incident.

Instead, it will be monitored by observers, including those from FIFA and its rules body the International Football Association Board (IFAB), which is widely expected to approve the use of the technology when it meets in Kiev in July.

The irony of having goal-line technology at the home of football will not be lost on England — or Germany — fans, after Geoff Hurst’s disputed goal in the 1966 World Cup final.

Hurst’s close-range shot in the first half of extra time at Wembley hit the underside of the bar, bounced down on the line and was cleared.

Swiss referee Gottfried Dienst consulted Russian linesman Tofik Bakhramov to determine whether the ball had crossed the line. Bakhramov ruled it had, England went 3-2 up and won the match 4-2. But debate has raged about the incident ever since.

Hawk-Eye, whose technology is already used to determine disputed line calls in tennis and some leg before wicket referrals in cricket, uses six cameras at each end of a stadium to calculate a three-dimensional position of the football.

GoalRef, in contrast, uses a chip placed in the centre of a football which will be picked up by sensors installed in the goalmouth.

Both systems use signals transmitted to a wristwatch worn by the referee within one second of any goalmouth incident to say whether the ball has crossed the line.

- © AFP, 2012

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