Goal-line technology to confirm
whether or not the ball has crossed the line was approved by
world football's rulemakers on Thursday, ending a decade of
debate and controversy.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) approved
the use of two different technology systems which FIFA secretary
general Jerome Valcke said would be used at the 2014 World Cup
"We have decided to use the system at the Club World Cup in
Tokyo [in December], at the Confederations Cup [in 2013] and the
2014 World Cup," Valcke told reporters.
The IFAB also approved the use of five-man refereeing teams,
featuring an extra linesman behind each goal-line in addition to
the two on the touchlines.
These have been used on an experimental basis recently in
several competitions including the Champions League and Euro
Pioneered by UEFA, the system was credited at Euro 2012 with
reducing the amount of pushing in the penalty area as well as
cutting down on players attempting to win penalties by diving.
"The IFAB has been around since 1886, it's been the guardian
of the laws of the game all that time, it has developed slowly,
conservatively and carefully to try and improve the game on a
worldwide basis," said Patrick Nelson, a board member from
"The decisions we made today are all ones which will be
long-lasting and will resonate throughout the world and they
have been taken very carefully."
"The IFAB has made some very good, fundamental and momentous
decisions here today," added Jonathan Ford from Wales.
Goal-line technology will be used in incidents where it is
impossible for match officials to determine with the naked eye
whether the ball has crossed the goal-line.
These would include cases where it bounces down off the
underside of the crossbar and is cleared away by a defender.
Pressure has been growing on football's governing body
following a series of high-profile incidents over the years
where teams have not been awarded goals even though the ball has
clearly crossed the line.
The most prominent was at the 2010 World Cup when Frank
Lampard's infamous phantom goal for England against Germany in
the 2010 World Cup finals was disallowed when it was clearly
over the line. Germany, leading 2-1 at the time, went on to win
FIFA President Sepp Blatter told the BBC: "We didn't have
accurate systems in the past, after what happened in South
Africa, I have to say 'thank you Lampard', it took me a day to
recover, I was really down and shocked."
Valcke said two systems had been approved, Hawk-Eye, which
is used in tennis and cricket and is based on optical
recognition with cameras, and GoalRef, which uses a magnetic
field with a special ball to identify a goal.
He said that competition organisers would be free to use
either system, the only two of ten initial candidates to pass
FIFA's rigorous testings.
However, systems would have to pass another test at every
stadium in which they were installed.
The decision was made despite an appeal from UEFA President
Michel Platini who said it would open the way for the further
use of technology.
"We are not considering any more technological advances
here, we are only looking at technology on the goal-line," said
the English FA's Alex Horne.
"We do not think its appropriate for technology to creep out
on to the field to interfere with other decisions, anything
beyond goal-line technology decisions begins to undermine the
authority of referees."
The IFAB comprises four representatives from the British
associations, who hold one vote each, while FIFA has four more
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