FIFA sets July 2012 target for goal-line systems

FIFA has set a target date of July 2012 to approve goal-line

technology systems that could be introduced before the 2014 World

Cup in Brazil.

Soccer’s governing organization said Tuesday that candidates

must pass two more rounds of tests at a stadium of their choice.

FIFA said the results will be presented to its rules-making body in

July 2012.

The goal-line debate reignited days earlier with another major

error by match officials. Chelsea’s Frank Lampard scored against

Tottenham on Saturday, with replays showing the ball had not

completely crossed the line. Chelsea won 2-1 to keep alive its

Premier League title hopes.

It was Lampard’s ”ghost goal” against Germany at the 2010

World Cup – his shot not counting for England despite bouncing down

off the cross bar beyond the goal line – that persuaded FIFA

President Sepp Blatter to end his long-standing opposition to

technology. Blatter apologized to English officials after watching

Germany’s 4-1 win in South Africa.

Technology companies bidding for approval must tell FIFA in the

next month if they want to take part in tests scheduled from

September to December.

FIFA wants a system that is ”accurate, is not complicated and

allows making real-time decisions,” Blatter said from a regional

soccer meeting in Miami. Blatter said the technology could be used

for the 2014 World Cup and individual federations could adopt it

earlier.

Systems achieving 90 percent accuracy in ”simulated match

scenarios” could be invited for more tests in March-June 2012. Ten

systems were tested at FIFA headquarters in March but their

accuracy was unacceptable.

Hawk-Eye, the Sony-owned company whose ball-tracking technology

is used in tennis and cricket, declined to participate because its

system uses cameras that need to be set up in a stadium.