SBD Global/April 22, 2013/International Football

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  • GoalControl Crucial To Helping Football 'Catch Up To Other Sports' In Technology Use

    The success of German software company GoalControl's cameras-and-software system, which will be used to judge goal-line decisions at this summer’s Confederations Cup in Brazil and next year’s World Cup, is crucial in helping football "catch up to other sports in its use of technology," according to Sam Borden of the N.Y. TIMES. That is why GoalControl execs see this as "only the beginning." The organization at the heart of int'l football’s technological advancement is "located in a generic two-story building" just off the A4 highway in Würselen, Germany. The modest setting "is appropriate for a company that did not officially exist until late last year." However, "the expectations for GoalControl are significant." The company's system could also be used to assist in ridding football of "its other most-prevalent flash point" --  the incorrect judging of football’s offside rule. GoalControl Managing Dir Dirk Broichhausen said, "Technically, yes, offside is absolutely possible -- it would just take a few more cameras in the stadium. This is the direction the sport is going. We are hoping to be at the start of something here." GoalControl execs are also "realistic about progress" in a sport that has been "notoriously slow to embrace changes." The choice of GoalControl "was surprising to many in the industry" who expected that Hawk-Eye, the company widely known for providing tennis' instant replay technology, would be awarded the football contract. However, GoalControl has roots in a group "known worldwide for its precision, too." Its corporate ancestor is Pixargus, "which uses cameras and software to handle quality control on the production lines making certain car parts and medical devices" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/19).

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  • Wales Unlikely To Host Euro 2020 Games; Platini Says It Lacks Infrastructure

    UEFA President Michel Platini said that Cardiff, Wales "is unlikely to be one of the 13 cities chosen to stage matches in the 2020 European Championship," according to the BBC. The FA of Wales hopes the Millennium Stadium "will be used under the competition's new format." But Platini said that Wales' capital city "lacks the necessary infrastructure to deal with the tournament's demands." Platini: "It's about the hospitality, the hotel rooms and the problem of the international airport. Wales have the stadium but you need the airport, the hotel rooms, you need many things and that could be where Wales will have to work if they want to be a host city for Euro 2020." Bids "to stage the Champions League final in future are likely to fail on the same grounds that Platini raised in relation to Euro 2020." Platini: "There is not enough hotel rooms in the city, there is not enough space around for the hospitality" (BBC, 4/21).

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