Football’s world governing body Fifa said on February 19 that it approved the use of goal-line technology for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil and invited bids from software companies.
The provider will have to be picked before this year’s Confederations Cup, the preparatory tournament held by World Cup host nations a year before the World Cup itself. Goal-line technology is set to be used at the Confederations Cup as well.
Fifa said that it reached the decision after the successful implementation of goal-line technology at its Club World Cup tournament in Japan in December 2012. “With different technologies on the market, Fifa has launched a tender today, setting out the technical requirements for the two forthcoming competitions in Brazil,” Fifa said in a statement.
Fifa has already approved the Hawk-Eye system, used in professional tennis and cricket, as well as GoalRef – which uses a magnetic field around the goalposts and electronic chips in the ball itself. Other technologies are in process of being licensed and were also invited to submit a bid.
“Interested goal-line technology companies will be invited to join an inspection visit to the Confederations Cup venues, currently scheduled for mid-March, with a final decision due to be confirmed in early April,” Fifa said.
Fifa president Sepp Blatter had been an opponent of such technology until the 2010 World Cup, changing his stance in the wake of the outcry caused by England’s Frank Lampard not being awarded a goal in the knockout match against Germany, with the referee not seeing that the ball had clearly crossed the goal line.
Uefa president Michel Platini, another high-profile opponent, has instead advocated the use of two additional linesmen behind goal – the system was used at the Euro 2012 tournament, but more controversy popped up when co-hosts Ukraine were denied an equaliser against England and left the tournament after the group stage.
Although replays left enough room for interpretation whether the ball had cleared the goal line entirely, Uefa said afterwards that a goal should have been awarded and Blatter said on Twitter that goal-line technology was “no longer an alternative but a necessity”.
(Photo: juan carlos arellano/sxc.hu)