Goal-line tech goes into final testing

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Goal-line tech goes into final testing

BAGSHOT, England - Goal-line technology could be introduced in football by the end of the year after two systems were approved Saturday for a final round of testing ahead of a landmark vote in July.

While six systems were cut after failing extensive experiments, football’s rule-making body was satisfied that Hawk-Eye and GoalRef provided fast and accurate decisions on disputed goals.

English Football Association General Secretary Alex Horne said the two remaining high-tech aids will now be “tested to destruction” before they can be approved for use in matches at a meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) on July 2.

While that is considered too late for any system to be used in the major European leagues in the 2012-13 season, FIFA hopes to have goal-line technology at the Club World Cup in December in Japan and certainly by the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Sony’s Hawk-Eye is a camera-based ball-tracking system successfully deployed in tennis and cricket. GoalRef, owned by a German-Danish company, uses a magnetic field with a special ball.

Both systems send a signal within a second of the ball crossing the line to the referee, who will retain the power to make the final call.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter ended his long-standing opposition to the high-tech aids after England midfielder Frank Lampard’s “ghost goal” against Germany at the 2010 World Cup, when his shot bounced down off the crossbar beyond the goal line but was not counted.

Even if goal-line technology is approved, competitions could still opt to use the five-official system championed by UEFA President Michel Platini. After being tested in continental club matches, additional referees’ assistants will be deployed at the European Championship in June.

Saturday’s IFAB annual meeting also took a step toward clearing the way for female Muslim players to wear hijabs during games, five years after banning the headscarves because of safety reasons.

FIFA Vice President Prince Ali of Jordan gave a presentation to show how headscarves can be safely held in place by Velcro fasteners. AP
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