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FIFA put goal-line technology on trial in opening match of World Club Cup

posted 5 Dec 2012, 06:36 by Mpelembe   [ updated 5 Dec 2012, 06:36 ]

FIFA to give goal-line technology to debut in opening match of World Club Cup.

YOKOHAMA CITY, KANAGAWA PREFECTUREJAPAN (DECEMBER 5, 2012) (REUTERS) -  Prompted into action by England midfielder's Frank Lampard's disallowed goal against Germany at the 2010 World Cup, FIFA will use goal-line technology for the first time in Japan this week.

The technology will be employed in Thursday's Club World Cup curtain raiser between Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Auckland City as soccer's governing body finally answers calls for it to join the 21st century.

Hawk-eye, widely used in cricket and tennis, and GoalRef, which uses a microchip in the ball and low magnetic waves around the goal, will be used at venues in Toyota and Yokohama.

With European champions Chelsea, whose players have been at the centre of several goal-line controversies in recent years, competing in Japan, the science is set for even closer scrutiny.

FIFA had resisted pressure for technology, successfully used in other sports including cricket, tennis, rugby and American Football, for years.

But Lampard's goal for England against Germany in South Africa, not seen by either the referee or linesman, prompted FIFA to finally turn to science.

"What happened at the World Cup in 2010 cannot happen again," FIFA general secretaryJerome Valcke told reporters.

"The World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world. The ball was not two centimetres in the goal - it was clearly in.

"Millions of people see that and wonder how the referee didn't see it. That's the decision we made after the 2010 World Cup."

Goal Ref demonstrated their system in Yokohama on Wednesday (December 5), one day ahead of the opening match of the

tournament between Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Auckland City FC. Operations ManagerThomas Pellkofer said he had been happy with the reaction so far.

"The first feedback we got back so far is that they were very happy about the technology because now they can concentrate on the game and gather feedback on whether the ball is inside or not," he said. He explained that the referree was still the final decision-maker.

During the 2012 Club World Cup in Japan, the GoalRef system will be used at Yokohama Stadium and Hawk-Eye at Toyota Stadium.

England's Chelsea, Brazil's Corinthians, Mexico's MonterreySouth Korea's Ulsan Hyundai, New Zealand's Auckland CityEgypt's Al Ahly and Japan's Sanfrecce Hiroshima will compete in the eight-match tournament.

The two systems are front-runners for next year's Confederations Cup in Brazil, although FIFA have kept the door open for other competing companies.

"It is expensive but over time technology gets cheaper," said Valcke, adding that FIFA had invested $2 million to date on development and installation at stadiums in Japan.

"The more market competition there is the cheaper it will get. It has to be available for all but at the same time it has to be accurate. We can't afford mistakes."

After analysing data taken from the Club World Cup, FIFA will choose which system to implement for the six Confederations Cup venues by the end of March.


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