Goal line technology delayed again

At the International Football Association Board (IFAB) AGM at the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales at the weekend, it was confirmed that none of the ten companies who took part in the goal line technology tests between 7-13 February had successfully fulfilled all four criteria set out by the IFAB.

The IFAB criteria is fairly exacting and runs as follows:

  • The technology would apply solely to the goal line, and only to determine whether a goal has been scored or not;
  • The system must be accurate;
  • The indication of whether a goal has been scored must be immediate and automatically confirmed within one second;
  • The indication of whether a goal has been scored will only be communicated to the match officials.

A series of test scenarios were defined by EMPA, an interdisciplinary research and services institution for material sciences and technology development within the ETH Zurich. The tests were used with different defined speeds and performed both in daylight and under floodlight conditions. The technologies used varied: some companies used camera-based systems, some magnetic field-based systems, and some GPS-based systems.

FIFA’s secretary general, Jerome Valcke, told Sky Sports News that the demand for 100% accuracy is the sticking point, with the two best systems so far only managing 98% and 94% accuracy respectively.

“The IFAB on Saturday agreed that a one year extension would be granted for further testing of GLT systems,” a FIFA spokesperson told SVG Europe. “A meeting will be held soon to determine the parameters of the next testing phase. During the press conference on Saturday, the FIFA President confirmed that Hawk-Eye, which did not participate in the tests last month, would be invited to take part in the next phase of testing.”

Hawk-Eye has, of course, been owned by Sony since the weekend, which no doubt ups the stakes for everyone else involved. After another year of testing, which SVG Europe understands is going to include tests under proper match conditions, the vexed topic will raise its head again at the IFAB AGM in March 2012. There it will go head-to-head with a non-technological proposal to solve the matter involving two Additional Assistant Referees, which it has already been agreed will be in use at next year’s Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. A final decision on the way forward is expected to be made at the end of the European 2011/2012 season.

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