Goal-Line Technology could be here next season; Adidas, Hawk-Eye and GoalMinder top contenders

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Rickie Fowler

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  • Goal-Line Technology could be here next season; Adidas, Hawk-Eye and GoalMinder top contenders

Goal-Line Technology could be here next season; Adidas, Hawk-Eye and GoalMinder top contenders

Goal line technology could be incorporated into the English Premier League by next season, says the Football Association’s General Secretary Alex Horne.

“It's possible we could see it [goal-line technology] in the Premier League as early as 2012-13," he told the BBC.

"It's easy to make mistakes and we've all seen examples where the referee and assistant referee can't see if a ball has crossed the line or not.

"We need to support them in decision-making."

Nine different systems regarding the issue are currently being tested. All involve different mechanisms and have been filtered down from quite a number of suggestions that had been made by numerous sports technologists.

Fifa had laid down strict criteria when it finally accepted that goal-line technology might have become necessary in today’s footballing world, and companies which have provided samples for testing the new technology are likely to undergo strict scrutiny. If they do make it through this recent pahse of texting, they will qualify for the second phase of testing which is likely to take place from March to June 2012, and may involve testing on the pitch, during live matches.

The impetus regarding the situation has largely increased after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, more specifically after Frank Lampard's goal against Germany was denied as the ball skimmed off the crossbar and landed on the inside of the goal-line. England went on to be eliminated from the World Cup following this.

One of the nine technologies being tested within this year is the Hawk-Eye. Already fully implemented in the world of Tennis with the power to over-rule officials, the Hawk-Eye does stand a considerable chance to get the nod due to a proven standard of reliability.

Adidas are also developing a solution to the problem and will be awaiting testers’ final word on their collaboration with ‘Cairos’ which involves an electronic device in the ball and electromagnetic detectors under the pitch along the goal and penalty-area-lines. This device however, will incur a considerable amount of moderation in the pitches all across England if implemented. There’s also an issue with the fact that it might take longer than a second for a verdict to be sent to the referee’s watch, which will not be in accordance with the condition set by FIFA in their criterion for goal-line technology.

Perhaps the most-hyped technology being tested is the ‘Goal-Minder’ developed by two Bolton Wanderers fans Barnes and Parden, who were enraged after Gerry Taggart’s critical effort on goal in Wanderers final match of the season of 1997 was disallowed by the referee even though the ball had crossed the line. Wanderers were relegated in and Barnes and Parden knew that something had to be done.

They set out to develop a system that would discreetly and efficiently assist the referee in a situation where it is not possible for the officials to decide whether the ball has crossed the line or not. Their system is devised of 24 High Definition cameras embedded in the cross bar and goalposts, which are triggered when a ball approaches the goal-line. A 3-Dimensional view is created using the information from the cameras on an offsite location and a decision made accordingly using defined algorithms. A decision is then sent to the referee’s watch causing a vibration and thereby letting the referee know if the ball has crossed the line or not. The whole process takes a fraction of a second and has potentially magnanimous commercial benefits.

However, the GoalMinder will tend to be slightly costly, with two goalposts costing around GBP 100,000. Barnes and Parden will sure be happy if FIFA approves to buy and implement their system in the future. Which could be almost as soon as the 2012-2013 season.



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