Sport

FIFA's goal-line technology on track in Japan

Wednesday, September 19, 2012    

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GENEVA, Switzerland (AP) - Officials from two FIFA-approved goal-line technology systems arrived in Japan on a Club World Cup inspection visit yesterday, hours after English football witnessed yet another disputed incident.

Everton was denied what appeared a clear goal against Newcastle in a Premier League match on Monday, as a referee's assistant did not spot that the ball had crossed the line.

The Premier League has pledged to install goal-line technology, though the Hawk-Eye and GoalRef systems had no chance of being ready at the start of the season after FIFA's law-making panel cleared them for use in competitive matches on July 5.

FIFA said Tuesday that its project is on schedule, and it has joined English firm Hawk-Eye and German-Danish project GoalRef this week at stadiums in Toyota and Yokohama where their systems will be first used at the Dec. 6-16 club tournament.

"We have to go step by step. It has been serious work together with FIFA," Rene Duenkler, spokesman for the Fraunhofer Institute based in Nuremberg, Germany, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Hawk-Eye and GoalRef will be installed at one stadium each in Japan in November for final testing ahead of the eight-match Club World Cup, which features continental champions including Chelsea and Corinthians.

The goal-line systems are also scheduled for use at FIFA's Confederations Cup in Brazil next June.

FIFA intends to use one or both systems at the 12 Brazilian stadiums staging 2014 World Cup matches.

It was an error by match officials at FIFA's showpiece event in June 2010 that persuaded FIFA President Sepp Blatter to reverse his previous opposition to goal-line technology and "reopen the debate."

England was denied a clear first-half goal by Frank Lampard against Germany, and lost the second-round match 4-1 in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

England benefited from another error at the European Championship in June when co-host Ukraine had a goal not allowed in a decisive group match. England won 1-0 and Ukraine was eliminated.

Hawk-Eye is a camera-based system already used in tennis and cricket. The English company was bought by Sony Corp., a World Cup sponsor, after FIFA invited companies to take part in two rounds of extensive tests designed by a technical institute in Zurich.

GoalRef uses magnetic sensors in the goalposts to track an "intelligent" ball, made by Danish company Select.

Dunkler said the GoalRef partners have started "to discuss prices" with national leagues, and "one or two" such as the Premier League or Bundesliga could be equipped next season.

"Of course we are looking in Europe but maybe also in Brazil," Duenkler said. "We are waiting for 20 years or more, and now we have to make a serious business timeline to make it high quality."

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