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Sepp Blatter reversed his position on goal-line technology when Frank Lampard's goal against Germany in the World Cup round of 16 was not given.
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Hawk-Eye set for 'secret trials' in Premier League
The people behind the Hawk-Eye ball-tracking technology say they’ll be trying it out next year – but keeping results secret.

GOAL-LINE TECHNOLOGY could be coming to the Premier League next season, with Hawk-Eye hoping to test its system during top-level matches for the first time, it’s reported today.

But with football’s lawmakers yet to allow referees to consult high-tech aids, the trials and results of the technology will remain secret for the time being.

Hawk-Eye founder Paul Hawkins said he was concerned that if his system contradicted a ruling on a disputed goal and the results were made public, the matchday officials would be undermined.

The sport moved closer to adopting goal-line technology earlier this month after the International Football Association Board approved another year of testing and FIFA president Sepp Blatter declared that it “helps referees.”

Hawk-Eye didn’t participate in the tests before IFAB’s annual meeting – all of which failed to meet the criteria laid down by FIFA, because they weren’t conducted in stadium conditions.

Blatter accepts that future tests will have to take place in stadiums and has identified England as a likely location.

And Hawkins, whose company was sold to electronics giant Sony last week, plans to speak to FIFA in the next week to gain approval for further testing.

“We’ve got to find a stadium to put the tests in,” Hawkins told The Associated Press. “We also need to check in advance what is wanted, testing-wise. I expect there will be a contractual commitment that we don’t report the information from the tests so we don’t undermine the officials if there is a controversial goal.

“Just at the time when we are testing technology that will hopefully help officials in the future, we don’t want Hawk-Eye showing they are wrong.”

Hawk-Eye’s ball-tracking technology, which is achieved by positioning cameras around the stadium, has already been successfully deployed in tennis and cricket.

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But just testing during matches wouldn’t produce enough results to prove to FIFA that Hawk-Eye is capable of accurately and speedily ruling on disputed goals. Due to the minor number of disputed goals in matches, most of the testing on the pitch is likely to take place on non-matchdays.

Blatter reversed his opposition to goal-line technology after England was wrongly not awarded a goal at the 2010 World Cup when the ball clearly crossed the line in the last-16 match against Germany.

Frank Lampard’s “goal” would have leveled the match at 2-2, but Germany went on to win 4-1.

“Everyone is pretty much in sync now, it’s just a case of making it happen,” Hawkins said.

- AP

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