Goal-line technology finally set to be switched on
Almost half a century after Geoff Hurst's controversial goal helped England win the 1966 World Cup, the use of goal-line technology was finally approved yesterday.
Although a majority of clubs, players, fans -- and even the referees themselves -- have long been pushing to bring football into the 21st century, the ultra-conservative International Football Association Board have repeatedly stepped back from the brink.
But the IFAB are now convinced that both methods to have undergone rigorous testing -- the camera-based Hawk-Eye system used in cricket and tennis, and GoalRef, which uses a magnetic field -- are foolproof and can decide within one second whether a goal has been scored without holding up play.
Both systems will first be used at December's Club World Cup in Tokyo, where Chelsea will be one of the teams, and, if successful, at the 2013 Confederations Cup and, crucially, the 2014 World Cup.
"We welcome today's decision by IFAB and will engage in discussions with both Hawk-Eye and GoalRef in the near future with a view to introducing goal-line technology as soon as is practically possible," a Premier League statement said.
FA general secretary Alex Horne confirmed that the Premier League could be among the first to use one or both systems after what he hailed was a "hugely important day" for football.
"We need to talk to the two (systems) and the clubs," said Horne.
"My understanding is that clubs are supportive and it could be introduced part-way through the season, it could be before the start of 2013-14 season, it could be part way through."
The landmark ruling by the IFAB will be a bitter pill to swallow for Uefa president Michel Platini, a fierce opponent of goal-line technology who favours the alternative scheme of an extra official behind each goal.
Platini did win one concession yesterday when the IFAB also formally approved the introduction of additional assistant referees after two years of experimentation, allowing competition organisers to run with which ever system they want. (© Independent News Service)