Goal Line Technology

The post-match argument about whether the football actually crossed the goal line will become history next season.

The Premier League is to become the first leading football league in the world to introduce goal-line technology.

British-based Hawk-Eye technology – which tells the referee within a second whether the ball has crossed the line – will be used in all 380 Premier League games in the 2013-14 season, after the league’s club chairmen voted on Thursday to introduce it.

Richard Scudamore, the league's chief executive, said: “The Premier League has been a long-time advocate of goal-line technology, and at times it didn’t look like it would be something we would be able to introduce.”

The deal is the most high-profile yet for Sony-owned, Basingstoke-based Hawk-Eye, whose technology is already used in many other sports.

It has significantly changed tennis, for instance, allowing players to challenge an umpire’s decision on crucial points at big tournaments, including all four grand slams.

The technology will track a football via six cameras dotted around each goal, transmitting an encrypted signal to a referee’s watch or earpiece if it crosses the line.

Fifa, football’s international governing body, had been split over whether it would allow national leagues to introduce the technology, before agreeing to the proposals last year.

Critics of the technology – led by Michel Platini, head of the European football governing body Uefa – worried that introducing goal-line technology would lead on to things such as video replays that might undermine a referee’s authority.

Sepp Blatter, president of Fifa, said goal-line technology was a “necessity” after the Ukraine national team were denied a legitimate goal against England in the 2012 European Championships.

Mr Scudamore said: “Football is fundamentally a simple game – whichever side scores most goals wins. So, when one is scored, or indeed not scored, and we have the ability through technology to definitively know whether the ball crossed the line, we should absolutely use it.”

“Fans, players and managers exhort, strain and stress respectively for their teams to score or prevent goals being scored, so we as administrators should do all that we can to ensure the correct decisions are being made.”

The deal comes 47 years after Geoff Hurst’s second goal was controversially ruled to have crossed the line in the 1966 World Cup final against Germany, which England went on to win 4-2 after extra time. The Germans got their revenge 44 years later after a Frank Lampard lob was ruled out in the 2010 World Cup second round as England lost 4-1.

Paul Hawkins, who invented Hawk-Eye in 2001, said: “We understand the responsibility that we have been given, and that the real challenge lies ahead in consistently delivering the technology that football deserves.”

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