Most of us are too young to have been around to have enjoyed Geoff Hurst’s controversial goal in England’s 4-2 World Cup Final win against West Germany in 1966. Many of us would have cursed obscenities at the officials when Frank Lampard’s long range shot crossed the line by a fair distance in the 2006 World Cup, ironically against Germany again!! However, it has taken the football authorities nearly half a century to tackle the cause of this controversy by finally bringing in the use of goal-line technology.
Goal-line technology was in place for the first time at the recent Confederations Cup held in Brazil and was supplied by GoalControl, but there were no incidents of note which called for it to be used, other than to decide the scorer of a goal. English referee Howard Webb, who was one of the Confederation Cup referees, told a news conference in Rio de Janeiro that he was happy with the system. He said: ”It has been our first experience of goal-line technology but the reassurance the system gives us is a big benefit.”
British-based Hawkeye won a five-year contract in April to supply all 20 of the Premier League clubs with the technology required. It should make for an exciting addition to what many claim to already be the most exciting football league on the planet.
The Football Association is yet to strike a deal with a goal-line technology provider for Wembley Stadium. They expected a system to be in place for the Community Shield on 11 August, but are still in negotiations.
How does Hawk-Eye work?
Hawk-Eye’s system works by using six cameras, focusing on each goal, to track the ball on the pitch.
The system’s software then uses “triangulation” to pinpoint the exact location of the ball.
If it crosses the goal-line an encrypted radio signal is sent to the referee’s wristwatch to indicate a goal has been scored.
In line with Fifa’s requirements, the whole process takes less than a second to complete.
Of course Hawkeye will be familiar to watchers of tennis at Wimbledon and those who will have experienced it regularly during the current Ashes cricket series and it’s fair to say in those sports it is used regular and effectively. The questions in football are; how often will it be used? How long will it really hold up play? How decisive and accurate is it? How and will they show the decision to the fans? Perhaps most importantly,will it enhance our much loved game? One things for certain, it will make for an interesting addition to our league whilst eliminating some of the talking points that a goal line decision often causes.