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Goal-line system could be used next year

Published on 4 March 2012

Goal-line technology was approved in principle by football's law-makers yesterday and the first system could be in place at the end of this year.

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The International FA Board (IFAB) announced they will go forward with final tests on two goal-line systems – from British company Hawk-Eye and GoalRef, a German-Danish firm – ahead of an ultimate decision in July.

FA general secretary Alex Horne said it was unlikely there would be time to install a system in time for the next English Premier League season, but Fifa plan to have one for the Club World Cup in Japan in December if either of the two systems is approved.

The Confederations Cup in Brazil next year should also have a system in place and Horne said it was unlikely the Premier League would introduce a system until the 2013/14 season. He said: "We decided that if there is a system working then we will do it.

"The reality is that asking 20 clubs to put something in place in five weeks, all tested and calibrated, is unlikely, and the Premier League would probably not want to introduce it midway through the competition. It's an important step forward for us but it is important that we do test it for failure."

Hawk-Eye is a camera-based system already used in tennis and cricket while GoalRef uses a magnetic field around the goal and a special ball.

The second test phase will make sure each system is robust enough to remain accurate in a match situation. The systems will only act as an aid to referees, with a signal sent to the official only within a second of the ball crossing the line. It is up to the referee then to decide whether to award a goal or not.

Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan said the SPL were likely to be interested if the price was right.

He said: "Next season is probably too soon and the costs are unknown. I think over time technology will advance and prices ultimately will come down and there will come a point at which the SPL can enter this market.

"There is a demand for goal-line technology in the SPL and once the companies have passed the tests we would certainly be keen to try it."

Fifa withdrew a proposal to allow a fourth substitution during extra-time, and will consider whether players who are sent off for conceding a penalty should also receive an automatic one-match ban.

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