FIFA has confirmed today that goal-line technology will be used at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, following a successful trial at the Club World Cup in Japan last December.
The technology will be used in all football (or soccer, for you American readers) stadiums throughout the tournament, provided they are installed successfully and satisfy the pre-match referee tests.
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In addition to the 2014 World Cup, goal-line technology will be used at the 2013 Confederations Cup, which is also being held in Brazil. It follows a similar announcement last July, where FIFA said it had plans to adopt the technology in both tournaments. At that point however, the implementation wasn’t confirmed.
Goal-line technology has been a contentious subject for many years. In some of the most important games of the season, including fixtures in the World Cup, goals have been disallowed because of a ruling by the referee or linesman. Replays and post-match analysis has later shown that the goal should have in fact counted, causing outrage over human error and the absence of goal-line technology.
FIFA and other football officials have been wary of adopting the technology, and there are a few reasons why; a global rollout will be expensive, and could undermine the authority of a human referee. Football is also a fast and fluid sport and as a result, there have been concerns that the constant use of goal-line technology could lead to video replays and a so called “PlayStation football.”
The pressure has mounted over the years though as more contentious goals have been wrongly allowed or disallowed. Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal against Germany in the 2010 World Cup is probably the most memorable.
FIFA said today that they would be launching a tender to review the different technologies that could be used in the upcoming competitions. Two companies that supply goal-line technology are already licensed under FIFA’s relevant Quality Programme. These firms, alongside other goal-line technology providers that are in the middle of the licensing process, have been invited to take part in the tender.
FIFA will then invite some of these firms for an inspection of the stadiums that will be used in the Confederation Cup around mid-March. A final decision is expected in early April.
Image Credit: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images