FIFA Gives GoalRef, Hawk-Eye OK To Set Up Goal-Line Technology In Stadiums
The first two goal-line technology providers, GoalRef and Hawk-Eye, have signed license agreements with FIFA. The two companies now have official authorization to install their respective goal-line technology systems worldwide. Between Oct. '11 and June '12, both companies passed a series of extensive laboratory and field tests, in simulated match situations, as well as tests in live matches. Once a system has been installed in a stadium, the system undergoes a final inspection to check its functionality. This is carried out by an independent test institute, and the results of this so-called "final installation test" must be successful. Only a positive final installation test qualifies a system to be used in official matches. When this occurs, the system is awarded the FIFA QUALITY PRO mark (FIFA). REUTERS' Brian Homewood wrote that FIFA approved the use of the technology in July following a "series of incidents in which referees failed to see that the ball had crossed the goal-line." The technology will make its debut at the Club World Cup in Japan in December. FIFA plans to use the GoalRef system in "one of the two stadiums used for the competition" and Hawk-Eye in the other (REUTERS, 10/23). The BBC reported that the FA and the EPL are "keen to use the technology as soon as possible." FA General Secretary Alex Horner raised the possibility of the Premier League introducing goal-line technology as early as January following the Int'l Football Association Board's "decision over the summer." However, a delay in the licensing process and the length of time needed to install and then gain final approval for all 20 EPL stadiums has "resulted in implementation now being targeted toward the start" of the '13-14 season (BBC, 10/23).
TAKE COVER: The London DAILY MAIL reported FIFA has ordered goal-line technology companies to take out insurance cover, so they will not "face costly lawsuits if they fail to spot a goal or players and officials are injured by their equipment." The insurance will protect them if their technology fails to spot the ball has crossed the line or wrongly registers that the ball was over the line (DAILY MAIL, 10/23).