FIFA have announced they will carry out tests on goal-line technology from various companies next week in Zurich. Each system under review will have to demonstrate they meet the following criteria in order to be considered for implementation during the March 5th meeting of the International FA Board at Celtic Manor. They must be 100% accurate and be able to relay the decision automatically to referees within a second. These criteria may seem to be steep, but when you think about the speed at which a computer keystroke registers on the screen, or an internet site pulls up on a high-speed connection, its not so unreasonable. As for the 100% accuracy, honestly whats the point of having technology that is more fallible or equally as fallible as the refs we have now. My money is on the companies who got their start working with ice hockey’s goal line technology, as the speeds are higher and the puck is very hard to fit a chip in.
Its expected that if some of the systems meets the criteria, they will be considered for approval, at least in principle at the meeting in March, however implementation may be weeks, months, or years away. The logistics of actually fitting the equipment on every soccer goal alone are a big concern, along with the impact it might have on the game itself. Here’s what the balls may look like if the technology were to be approved, courtesy of the first time this was tested by Adidas
For my part, I’m happy to see FIFA begging to overcome their deeply rooted technophobia and move into the 21st century. Less errors will be better for everyone, and safer for the referees. The men in Manchester United jerseys should be relieved to see this coming into force, along with Tottenham, Ireland’s national side, and many others who have been slighted over the years by faulty refs and absurd rules. Now they’ll only have Keys and Gray to worry about.
Written by: Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com
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