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Sports Facilities Technology

Goal Line Technology to Get Trial Run at Uefa Club World Cup in Japan

December 13, 2012


Currently, two forms of goal line technology are being tested at the Uefa Club World Club being held in Japan, and Uefa president Michel Platini, like others, hasn’t shielded away from voicing his displeasure.

"If the goal-line referee is one meter from the line and he has good glasses, he can see whether the ball is inside or not," Platini said recently. 

Hawk-Eye, the first of the two being tested, is a complex computer system that tracks the flight of the ball and will be able to determine whether or not the ball crossed the goal line. Hawk-Eye technology isn’t new to the sports world as it’s currently used in cricket and tennis matches.

Image via Shutterstock

The second of the two technologies is GoalRef. Unlike the Hawk-Eye technology, GoalRef is bulkier and uses magnetic fields around a specialized goal that is able to detect the passage of the ball using magnetic induction. The referees need to be fitted with a special watch that notifies them within half a second if a goal was scored.

In order to determine whether or not the ball broke the magnetic field, the soccer balls will be fitted with a custom chip on the inside. Although the chips will not change the weight of the ball, some have said the balls have “felt heavier.”

All of this technology talk was spurred on by the now infamous “disallowed goal” by England’s Frank Lampard during the 2010 World Cup. With England trailing the Germans 2-1 in the knockout stage, Lampard drilled a shot in the 39th minute that went over the German keepers head, hit the cross bar, bounced well inside the goal line and came back out.

Neither the referee, nor his assistant noticed the ball cross the line and disallowed the goal, even though numerous video replays clearly showed the ball crossing the goal line. England would go on to lose 4-1 and be eliminated, but had the goal been accurately called, who knows what would have happened.

The goal line technology is being met with a lot of resistance due to the cost of installing the equipment in stadiums. It’s estimated that over the next five years it could cost around €50m to use at club and international competitions.

With the ability to absolutely determine the outcome of a goal or no goal, technology should be the way to go for soccer leagues around the World. But due to the high cost, it’s possible we may not see this technology fully introduced at a marquee event until the 2014 Men’s World Cup in Brazil.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman