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FIFA approves use of goal-line technology

ESPN staff
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Extensive tests of technology have been ongoing © Getty Images
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FIFA has unanimously voted to approve the use of goal-line technology in professional football - announcing it will be used at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

FIFA approved both the Hawk-Eye and the GoalRef systems at a meeting in Zurich, meaning technology can be introduced by the Premier League and the FA.

However, its introduction will not be immediate because each system will have to be licensed, installed and tested in each venue to ensure it is functioning properly.

FIFA intends to use the new technology at the Club World Cup later this year, with the Confederations Cup in 2013 and next World Cup also employing the technology following a series of controversies in recent tournaments.

Momentum towards goal-line technology increased ever since Frank Lampard was denied an equaliser for England against Germany in the 2010 World Cup when the ball hit the bar and bounced over the line but no goal was given.

That incident caused the FIFA president Sepp Blatter to publicly back technology for the first time, and the issue hit the headlines again when Ukraine were denied a goal when the ball crossed the line against England in Euro 2012.

Tests on the Hawk-Eye and GoalRef systems were carried out by the Swiss Federal Laboratory for Materials Science and Technology, with the results evaluated by IFAB members at a meeting earlier this month. Hawk-Eye, developed by a British company, is based on cameras, while GoalRef, a Danish-German development, uses magnetic fields.

"The Premier League has been a long term advocate of goal-line technology,'' read a statement from the organisation. "We welcome today's decision by IFAB and will engage in discussions with both Hawkeye and GoalRef in the near future with a view to introducing goal-line technology as soon as is practically possible .'"

FA general secretary Alex Horne added: "We believe that it is a great day for football. From an English perspective today is a hugely important day, it is a cause we have had on our agenda for a number of years. This is about having the right technology helping the referee in a relatively rare occurrence - the scoring of a goal.''

There will be no move towards bringing in other technology, such as video replays to judge offsides for example, said IFAB in a statement.

"This approval is subject to a final installation test at each stadium before the systems can be used in 'real' football matches,'' said the statement. "The IFAB was keen to stress that technology will only be utilised for the goal-line and for no other areas of the game.''

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