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FIFA stages shoot-out between British and German goal line tech

Electric eyes will watch the World Cup, with Hawk_Eye to face off against German foes

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Football’s ruling body FIFA has agreed to use goal-line technology (GLT) at next year’s World Cup in Brazil after successful trials in Japan in December.

The decision marks a turnaround in thinking for FIFA after big match errors of judgement by referees in major tournament games which have benefitted and penalised England*.

A brief statement from the governing body said that GLT – which will be installed in all stadia for the Confederations Cup in Brazil this year – would be used to “support the match officials”, pending pre-match referee tests.

Two technologies were used at the Club World Cup in Japan – the English Hawk-Eye system and German-designed GoalRef – however neither are guaranteed to be used in Brazil.

“With different technologies on the market, FIFA has launched a tender today, setting out the technical requirements for the two forthcoming competitions in Brazil,” said FIFA.

“The two GLT providers already licensed under FIFA’s Quality Programme for GLT [Hawk-Eye and GoalRef], and other GLT providers currently in the licensing process (that must have passed all relevant tests as of today) are invited to submit tenders.”

FIFA told Reuters that two other unnamed German-built GLT systems could also be included in the final shoot-out between rival tenders.

Hawk-Eye has by far the stronger track record in international sport, having been used extensively at international cricket and tennis matches.

It works by triangulating visual images generated by numerous high speed cameras around the goal and can be set up to alert the ref if a goal is scored by sending a message to his watch.

GoalRef, part-developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, requires a low frequency magnetic field be generated around the goal and the football to be fitted with a passive electronic circuit.

The system then monitors the interaction between the two thanks to antenna inside the goalpost and crossbar and again alerts the referee’s watch if a goal has been scored.

* Frank Lampard's goal was famously ruled not to have crossed the line in the World Cup 2010 quarter final with Germany which England went on to lose. England were more fortunate when a Ukraine goal against them in Euro 2012 was ruled out despite TV camera evidence that proved otherwise. ®

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