Goal-line systems set for tests

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Football News

Nine companies, including UK firm Hawk-Eye, will put their goal-line technology systems to the test this autumn as FIFA prepare to make a final decision on the issue next summer.

The sport's world governing body revealed on Thursday that the companies had registered for the first phase of testing of the technology, which will be carried out between September and December.

The technology will be tested across a range of criteria, with FIFA insistent the systems must be capable of alerting referees wherever they happen to be on the pitch when the ball crosses the goal-line, by way of a vibration and visual signal sent to their watches.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter had been an opponent of the technology, claiming the systems trialled to date had been unreliable and that the professional game should be no different from amateur and grassroots football.

However, a number of high-profile refereeing errors - including that of Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda when he failed to spot a Frank Lampard shot had clearly crossed the goal-line in the last-16 meeting between England and Germany at last summer's World Cup - prompted a rethink by FIFA.

The Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) will carry out the independent testing on FIFA's behalf and will report back to the sport's rule-making body the International Football Association Board (IFAB) at their annual general meeting in London next March.

At that stage any companies whose systems have failed the testing will drop out of the process, with reports on the second stage of testing and a final decision on whether the technology can be implemented to be taken at the IFAB meeting next summer.

IFAB will also consider the success or otherwise of the ongoing experiment with additional assistant referees at that meeting.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said in May he was hopeful that the English top flight could be using goal-line technology as early as the start of the 2012-13 season.

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