Hawkeye to be used from next season
Published 11/04/2013 | 17:26
Television audiences and crowds in stadiums will be able to watch replays of goal-line technology decisions from next season after the Premier League agreed a deal with British-based firm Hawkeye.
The agreement, hailed by England manager Roy Hodgson as "a momentous day" for football, will see all 20 top-flight clubs use the system and the Football Association is set to follow suit with Wembley Stadium.
The Premier League confirmed that the replays will be available to be shown by broadcasters and in grounds. The first domestic match to use the system should be the Community Shield at Wembley on August 11, and the first Premier League match will be the 1245 kick-off on August 17.The FA has been part of negotiations along with the Premier League but still has to sign a separate agreement with Hawkeye. A German system, GoalControl, had also been under consideration after submitting a tender.
Hodgson, speaking at the Soccerex conference in Manchester, told reporters: "It's something that people in football have wanted for a long, long time. It has been a big debate and it was pushed back but it's great now to see that everyone is on the same page and that they have introduced it."
Hawkeye, which was sold to technology giant Sony two years ago, already provides systems for tennis and cricket.The Premier League provided seed money to help Hawkeye develop a goal-line technology system back in 2007, but there was no formal relationship with the company.
The technology instantly sends a message to the referee that the ball has crossed the goal-line via a special watch. The long-awaited agreement comes after a campaign which only bore fruit after Frank Lampard's 'ghost goal' for England against Germany at the 2010 World Cup that persuaded FIFA president Sepp Blatter to change his mind on the issue.
League chiefs made their recommendation for Hawkeye based on both cost and ease of implementation and use. Earlier this month FIFA chose GoalControl, which is also a camera-based system, for the Confederations Cup in Brazil in June and next year's World Cup finals.
Former Arsenal and FA vice-chairman David Dein, who has long campaigned for goal-line technology, claimed every top-flight referee in England was in favour of having a system.
He said: "The Premier League will be the first league in Europe to introduce it. I have been on this campaign for six or seven years and now it's going to happen. The referees need help, the camera will always beat the eye, and every referee in the Premier League is in favour of it."
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore explained the ability to make the replays available had been the decisive factor in choosing Hawkeye, saying: "The fact it was a camera-based system was critical. Replays will be made available to all our host broadcasters and we are examining the feasibility of them being used on in-stadium big-screens. It is essential that fans see the system in action to know that it is working."