Premier League eyes goal-line tech for next season

BY foxsports • March 4, 2012

The Premier League will consider using goal-line technology in games starting next season in August.

The International Football Association Board on Saturday rejected six devices and approved two for a final round of testing in match scenarios before either can be sanctioned for competitive play.

If IFAB is satisfied with the speed and accuracy of Hawk-Eye or GoalRef to serve as aids for referees when it meets July 2, the Premier League's 20 stadiums would have six weeks to install the technology.

The English Football Association, which is one of eight IFAB members, said that's not enough time. But the Premier League is more optimistic, having been a longtime advocate of goal-line technology.

''We welcome the moves by FIFA and we would like to introduce it as soon as practically possible,'' league spokesman Dan Johnson said Sunday.

The league has already invested in Hawk-Eye's development of a device for soccer and also plans talks with GoalRef ahead of the IFAB decision. The discussions could ensure a deal is in place to allow the league to act swiftly after the vote in July.

Sony Corp.'s Hawk-Eye is a camera-based ball-tracking system successfully deployed in tennis and cricket. GoalRef, owned by a German-Danish company, uses a magnetic field with a special ball. Both systems send a signal within a second of the ball crossing the line to the referee, who has the power to make the final call.

FIFA hopes one of the systems will be ready for the Club World Cup in December in Japan, where Hawk-Eye's owner is based.

FIFA's support for goal-line technology had wavered over the years until a blunder at the 2010 World Cup. A shot by England's Frank Lampard against Germany bounced off the crossbar beyond the goal line but did not count, and England was knocked out of the competition.

That convinced FIFA President Sepp Blatter that such technology was a necessity to avoid further embarrassment at major tournaments.