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Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012

FIFA to showcase goal-line technology during Club World Cup

Kyodo

FIFA said Wednesday it wants no more Frank Lampards as soccer's world governing body gets set to unveil its goal-line technology in the opening match of the Club World Cup.

News photo
Information age: Goal-line technology will be in the spotlight during the Club World Cup. KYODO

"What happened at the 2010 World Cup — and it has happened in the Italian league and in England in the Premier League over the last month — cannot happen again," FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said, referring to Lampard's obvious goal that was disallowed in England's 4-1 defeat to Germany during the second round in South Africa.

"We are using the technology for the first time in an official tournament, or any tournament for that matter. This incident in Germany-England, the ball was not two centimeters in the goal but it was clearly in — and the referee has not seen it."

"Why would you not try to protect and make the best of your event? That's the idea of the goal-line technology following what happened in 2010, and following other incidents that's happened in different leagues."

"Our eyes are not strong enough and fast enough to see a ball coming in and out in less than half a second. We have a limited potential with our eyes, and only technology can tell you this kind of information."

Eyeing use at next year's Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, FIFA is spending $1 million to test two systems at the Club World Cup starting with Thursday's game between J. League champion Sanfrecce Hiroshima and New Zealand's Auckland City at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama.

The two formats FIFA is weighing are GoalREF, made by German firm Fraunhofer, and Sony's Hawk-Eye, which is already successfully used in other sports such as tennis and cricket.

The GoalREF technology will be installed at Yokohama while Hawk-Eye will be given a run at Toyota Stadium outside Nagoya.

GoalREF uses balls with wire coils — embedded underneath the cover — whose exact position can be relayed to the referee's watch in under a second because of a magnetic curtain draped around the goal.

Hawk-Eye locates the ball through seven high-speed cameras pointed at the goal. The information from the cameras is transferred to video software which is then passed on to match officials — also in under a second.

After analyzing data from the Club World Cup, FIFA will decide by the end of March which technology it will use for the six venues at the Confederations Cup.

The system used at the Confederations Cup venues will remain in place for the World Cup. The six other venues of the World Cup, however, could end up using a different brand, Valcke said.

At the World Cup, the system will be tested 90 minutes prior to kickoff, but the referee can decide not to use it, if he feels there are any inconsistencies with the program.

Purists, like French legend and UEFA President Michel Platini, are opposed to using the technology, but FIFA said if there is an opportunity to perfect its product without compromising the quality, it will pursue any avenue.

"For the time being, it is a bit expensive to install the goal line technology system but remember 10 years ago, a plasma screen or a flat screen cost a fortune," Valcke said. "Today, you can find it for $500."

"It has to be the most accurate system and it always has to give the right information to the referee. You cannot have any mistakes, and that's why it took two years of experiments."

"You will never have zero but you will have less mistakes made by the referee during games, games that are so important to the national teams or clubs at the level of top competitions."

"I'm sure other leagues or other stadium owners will use the technology and they are for sure waiting for the results of this week."



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