Better late than never: goalline technology gets international clearance

New systems to be used at Club World Cup, with Premier League eager for early introduction


Almost half a century after Geoff Hurst's controversial goal helped England win the 1966 World Cup, the use of goalline technology was finally approved yesterday.

Although a majority of clubs, players, fans – and even the referees themselves – have long been pushing to bring football into the 21st century, the ultra-conservative International Football Association Board has repeatedly stepped back from the brink but is now convinced that both methods to have undergone rigourous testing – the camera-based Hawk-Eye system used in cricket and tennis and GoalRef, which uses a magnetic field – are foolproof and can decide within one second whether a goal has been scored without holding up play.

Both systems will first be used at December's Club World Cup in Tokyo, where Chelsea will be one of the teams, and, if successful, at the 2013 Confederations Cup and, crucially, the 2014 World Cup. "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," a Premier League statement said.

At a news conference following a three-hour special meeting of the IFAB in Switzerland, the Football Association general secretary, Alex Horne, confirmed that the Premier League could be among the first to use one or both systems after what he hailed was a "hugely important day" for football.

"The Premier League need to talk to the two [systems] and the clubs," said Horne. "My understanding is that clubs are supportive and, in principle, as long as all clubs agree it could be introduced part-way through the season, it could be before the start of 2013-14 season, it could be part way through. It might be that it is possible to have it part way through the [2012-13] season."

Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president ,once strongly against technology, changed his mind following Frank Lampard's disallowed effort for England against Germany in the 2010 World Cup. Blatter is now a firm advocate of technology being in place before the next World Cup in Brazil and reiterated that stance after Ukraine were denied a perfectly good goal against England in their final group game of Euro 2012.

While Wales and Northern Ireland were initially against goalline technology, they are now firmly on board after yesterday's unanimous ruling. "This is an historic decision that will resonate around the world," said Patrick Nelson, chief executive of the Irish FA while his Welsh counterpart Jonathan Ford said it was a "momentous" move.

"Over the past few years there have been a number of occasions where mistakes have clearly occurred in football," said Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan. "Anything that can assist the referee in making the correct decision has to be good."

The landmark ruling by the IFAB will be a bitter pill to swallow for Uefa president Michel Platini, a fierce opponent of goalline technology who favours the alternative scheme of an extra official behind each goal.

Platini believes it would be an "historical mistake" if technology replaces human judgement and that it would serve as a dangerous precedent in terms of spreading to video replays for other contentious decisions like offsides and penalties. But the Frenchman suffered embarrassment during England's 1-0 win over Ukraine when the extra official, standing 10 yards away, failed to spot that Marko Devic's shot was clearly over the line.

Platini did win one concession yesterday when the IFAB also formally approved the introduction of additional assistant referees after two years of experimentation in the Champions League, Europa League and Euro 2012, allowing competition organisers to run with which ever system they want.


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower