Hawk-Eye has been selected ahead of GoalControl as the provider of Goal-Line Technology for the Premier League next season, with clubs voting 20-0 in favour of Hawk-Eye.
We all remember this moment:
And there are plenty more to pick from, this incident coming in last year’s FA Cup semi-final:
As clubs from the top division of English football gathered to vote on the two systems today, there was confidence that both would be capable of avoiding controversial moments concerning whether or not the ball has crossed the line.
GoalControl, a German manufacturer, has already been selected by Fifa as the provider for the Confederations Cup that shall take place this summer. Beyond that, if the technology proves to be both successful and accurate, it shall also be used the following year in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. With this technology the flight of the ball is tracked by high-speed cameras positioned around sides of the pitch. Frank Lampard’s costly disallowed goal in the 2010 World Cup is what finally began Fifa’s push for this technology and a recent statement from them read: “the final decision was based on criteria relating more specifically to the tournaments in Brazil, including the company’s ability to adapt to local conditions and the compatibility of each GLT system.”
That said Hawk-Eye is also credited with being extremely accurate and has a lot of sporting prestige, its reliability already being proven in Tennis and Cricket. The British-developed system, now owned by Sony, uses seven separate cameras and claims to be accurate to the millimetre. Furthermore in Tennis and Cricket we have already seen it’s practicality in showing both the viewers at home and those at the event a computational replay that proves the decision’s accuracy.
It seems that GoalControl and Hawk-Eye had a competitive advantage over Cairos and GoalRef because of the formers’ camera based systems. As they use cameras the images that they produce can be shown to the public, so that where the ball has landed in relation to the goal line is clear for all to see. The latter two firms use magnetic fields and sensors inside the ball to detect when a goal has been scored.
Much of the resistance to GLT has come from a worry that it would slow down a sport that is naturally freely flowing and that has far less stoppages compared to other sports in which technology is already active. Tennis, Cricket and American football are the obvious examples of sports with regular stoppages that allow officials to take time to examine conclusive replays. Both Hawk-Eye and GoalRef are designed to avoid the need to stop play to examine a goal-line incident though. Both technologies send and instant signal to a watch worn by the referee that will both vibrate and give the message that the ball has crossed the line. This allows the referee to continue with play if the goal was not scored, or oppositely halt the game and give the goal if it that is right.
Top-flight clubs have today voted unanimously in favour of Hawk-Eye and the 20 competing clubs in the 2013/14 Premier League season will have the equipment installed and tested during the summer. The same will happen at Wembley and it is hoped that the technology will be in place for the Community Shield in mid-August.
FA general secretary Alex Horne speaking to the BBC said “there are occasions [when GLT is needed] and we’ve seen them here at Wembley, we’ve seen them in World Cups, we’ve seen them 11 or 12 times in the Premier League this season alone. So technology that says ‘yes, the ball has crossed the line’ and lets the referee know makes an awful lot of sense to me.”
The fact is, it has made sense to the more or less the whole footballing world for a very long time and its introduction to English football will certainly be widely welcomed.