FIFA to begin goal-line testing

Companies will need to demonstrate 90% accuracy rates for their

prototype systems in order to get through the first phase and then

return a 100% success rate in the second phase. FIFA changed their

stance last year after Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal in the World

Cup and now accept the need for goal-line technology – if the

systems can be shown to be completely reliable. Lampard was also at

the centre of the latest controversy this weekend when he was

awarded a goal for Chelsea against Tottenham despite TV pictures

showing the whole of the ball had not crossed the line. Companies

have until June 3 to register their interest with FIFA, who will

share the costing of the testing. Each firm can select which

stadium they would like the tests to take place. The tests will be

divided into three parts: :: shots from all over the pitch into an

empty net. A 100% success rate is needed to pass phase one. ::

‘dynamic’ tests: a ball-shooting machine will fire shots into the

goal where a fixed wall will at first stop the ball crossing the

line, and then be moved back inside the goal at different distances

from the line. A 90% success rate is needed to pass phase one. ::

‘static’ tests: a ball is placed on a sledge and moved at slow

motion across the goal-line, sometimes with the ball rotating. A

90% success rate of this test is also needed to pass phase one. For

each test, an immediate signal that the ball has crossed the line

must be sent to a referee’s watch. Companies that successfully pass

phase one of the process – which will take place between September

and December – will be subjected to more rigorous and scientific

testing in a second phase between March and June next year. FIFA

said in a statement: “A higher volume of tests will be conducted to

ensure a more precise evaluation of the fitness of a technology and

to provide a full statistical analysis. “This will include more

simulated match scenarios as well as other factors including:

software reliability; transmission signal quality; performance

under changing weather conditions as well as on different pitch

surfaces.” The International FA Board, the game’s law-making body,

will be presented with the results of the testing at a special

meeting in July 2012. Successful systems could be in place for the

the 2014 World Cup in Brazil – FIFA say the second phase tests will

be carried out in “different lighting conditions as per the FIFA

requirements for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil”. British

company Hawkeye is expected to be one of the firms that apply to

FIFA – they believe their technology is 100% accurate. They were

not part of the first tests at FIFA headquarters in February

because they needed a stadium in which to use their systems. All 10

companies tested in February failed, although three did come close

to being 100% accurate. A number of others failed hopelessly

however – including one system that registered a goal when the ball

when two inches above the crossbar.