FIFA green-lights GLT for Brazil 2014

Football world governing body FIFA has given the go-ahead for goal-line technology (GLT) to be used at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and invited tenders from developers to provide systems. This follows GLT being used at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan last December and similar installations planned for this year’s Confederations Cup.

After many years of either dismissing GLT completely or deferring a decision on it, FIFA has finally recognised the concept of using technology to assist match officials in deciding whether the ball has crossed the goal line or not.

Two GLT technologies – the camera-based tracking system HawkEye, owned by Sony, and GoalRef, developed partly by Fraunhofer IIS and based on a micro-chip in the ball and sensors round the goal – have been licensed under FIFA’s Quality Programme and were used during the Club World Cup.

HawkEye and GoalRef were among the earliest proposals for effective GLT and so regarded as the obvious choices for FIFA’s test programmes. Since FIFA’s decision to implement GLT other developers and manufacturers have produced systems, some of which are in the process of being assessed for licensing purposes.

Companies applying for licences that have passed “all relevant tests”, as well as HawkEye and GoalRef, have been invited to tender for the 2014 World Cup. Suppliers interested in tendering have been invited on an inspection visit, planned for the middle of March, to the venues that will be used for the Confederations Cup, which is also being hosted by Brazil. The final decision on who will provide GLT for the World Cup is expected by early April.

While FIFA is now supporting GLT and the English Premier League hopes to be using systems by the start of next season, Michel Platini, the president of European football organisation UEFA, is still opposed to the idea.

Subscribe and Get SVG Europe Newsletters