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Premier League keen to be early adopter of goal-line technology

Mon 5th Mar 2012 | IT & Technology

The English Premier League is considering using goal-line technology in games from the start of the 2012-13 season after the International Football Association Board (IFAB) on Saturday reduced the number of companies bidding to implement the initiative to two.

The IFAB has rejected six devices and approved those presented by Hawk-Eye and GoalRef. The systems will now go through a final round of testing in game scenarios before either can be sanctioned for use in competitive fixtures.

If IFAB is satisfied with the speed and accuracy of Hawk-Eye or GoalRef to serve as aids for referees when it meets on July 2, the Premier League’s 20 grounds would have just six weeks to install the technology.

The League has already invested in Hawk-Eye’s development of a device for football and also plans talks with GoalRef ahead of the IFAB decision. Sony-owned Hawk-Eye’s system uses optical recognition with cameras, whilst GoalRef, owned by a German-Danish company, utilises a magnetic field with a special ball to identify a goal situation. “We welcome the moves by FIFA and we would like to introduce it as soon as practically possible,” Premier League communications director Dan Johnson told the Associated Press.

Both systems send a signal within a second of the ball crossing the line to the referee, who will retain the ultimate power to make the final call. FIFA is hopeful one of the systems will be ready for use at the Club World Cup in December in Japan.

The issue of goal-line technology returned to the fore last weekend as AC Milan was apparently denied a legitimate goal in its top-of-the-table Serie A clash with Juventus. The ‘goal’ would have put Milan 2-0 ahead, but the game instead finished 1-1.

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