Goal-line technology gets green light

England's John Terry clears ball from beyond goal-line in Euro 2012 clash against Ukraine

England's John Terry clears ball from beyond goal-line in Euro 2012 clash against Ukraine

First published in National Sport News © by

Goal-line technology is set to be introduced into English football as early as the new year after two systems were approved by the game's law-makers in a "momentous" decision.

The Premier League will enter into talks with Hawk-Eye and GoalRef, the two manufacturers of the systems, about bringing the technology in as soon as midway through the season and it could also be used for the coming season's FA Cup semi-finals and final. It follows a unanimous decision by the International FA Board in Zurich.

FA general secretary Alex Horne said the Hawk-Eye system installed at Wembley for a trial last month is still there - and could be switched on, tested and licensed for FA Cup and perhaps England matches at Wembley.

Horne told the Press Association: "It is perfectly possible to introduce it halfway through the season. We have already got Hawk-Eye at Wembley, it needs to be calibrated and make sure it's working properly and licensed so we are nearly there and we could turn Hawk-Eye on quite quickly.

"The FA Cup would be our decision and we could say for the semi-finals and finals of the FA Cup we could turn it on, I don't think that is a very controversial decision. England is harder because we are part of someone else's competition so we would need FIFA to agree that we could use that in that qualification campaign.

"We need to go back and talk to the Premier League, everything I hear is that they want it. We might as well agree which one we want to buy and then nail a deal together."

The Premier League wasted no time in hailing the decision, and said in a statement: "The Premier League has been a long term advocate of goal-line technology. 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."

FIFA president Sepp Blatter admitted he had changed his mind about goal-line technology after Frank Lampard's disallowed goal for England v Germany in the 2010 World Cup, and highlighted again after Ukraine were denied a goal against England in Euro 2012 despite the ball having crossed the line.

Blatter insisted however that there would be no move to introduce any video replays or other technology to rule on other decisions such as offsides, fouls or diving. He said: "Other than the goal-line technology, football must preserve its human face."

FA chairman David Bernstein also hailed the decision, saying: "I think it is a momentous day and I'm proud to have been part of this decision-making."

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