Premier League will adopt goal-line tech to take the heat off referees

Debates about whether the football crossed the line or not will soon be things of the past as the Premier League is following FIFA's footsteps and will adopt goal-line technology starting next season.

A spokesperson for the Premier League has already confirmed that the move is in its final stages. "We're working on the basis of having goal-line technology in place for the start of the season," said spokesman Dan Johnson. "All clubs will have to have the system, including those promoted."

The Premier League is said to be in discussions with two companies, presumably Hawkeye and GoalRef. Both the companies' technologies were used in FIFA’s Club World Cup in Japan last year and are set to be a part of the World Cup next year in Brazil.

GoalRef technology has a passive electronic circuit embedded in the ball and a magnetic field around the goal on posts and crossbar. It detects goals due to changes in the magnetic field around the goal line.

Frank Lampard reacts after being denied a goal in the 2010 World Cup against Germany (Image Credits: Getty Images)

Frank Lampard reacts after being denied a goal in the 2010 World Cup against Germany (Image Credits: Getty Images)


Hawkeye, on the other hand, uses around six cameras to focus on the goal. When the ball crosses the line, a message is sent to the referees’ wristwatches within a second, indicating that it’s a goal.

The problem facing Premier League honchos now is to choose a cost-effective, easy system to put in place for the matches before the next season starts. FIFA’s experiment with these technologies should serve as a yard-stick for making this decision. Sadly enough, this technology will not be in place for the Champions League and Europa League matches.

What’s more, decisions might be displayed on video screens in the stadium while being relayed to the referees, à la third umpire decisions during cricket. Football Association’s General Secretary Alex Home wisely said, “My view that I will recommend to the FA Cup committee is that technology favours nobody – it is there for both teams.”

While the need for goal-line technology has been propagated hard for a while now, FIFA sat up and took notice of it only after Frank Lampard's “ghost-goal” debacle in the 2010 World Cup. The incident, where Lampard was unfairly denied a goal, could have been avoided with the simple use of technology. FIFA Chief, Sepp Blatter was previously opposed to goal-line technology, but apologised for the incident and took steps to get football to embrace technology.

Although the move to bring in better technology is a welcome one, it begs the question why it took so long for the game to make this changeover. Most professional sports today use technology to make decisions that could have been clouded due to human error.

Cricket, England’s other favourite sport, has been employing technology to help make leg-before-wicket and boundary decisions using footage from multiple cameras. In fact, the International Cricket Council also experimented with a right that allowed teams to review umpire decisions after they had been made.

Goal-line technology will only make life easier for football referees, who have faced a lot of heat over decisions in the recent past.


(Cover Image Credits: Getty Images)

Published Date: Mar 04, 2013 04:44 pm | Updated Date: Mar 04, 2013 04:44 pm