Fifa to decide on goal-line technology in 2012

Football's world governing body Fifa will hold a two-stage testing programme for goal-line technology, with the results to be discussed in July 2012.

Interested suppliers must apply by 3 June and the first tests will be held between September and December.

A shortlist of the best systems will go forward to the second round, between March and June 2012.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has already said that goal-line technology could be used at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Blatter's stance changed after Frank Lampard's disallowed goal for England against Germany in the 2010 World Cup, but he is demanding the systems show they can offer complete reliability.

Lampard was at the centre of another controversy last weekend when he was awarded a goal for Chelsea against Tottenham, despite television pictures suggesting the whole of the ball may not have crossed the line.

Bidding companies will need to demonstrate 90% accuracy rates for their prototype systems in order to get through the first phase of testing and then return a 100% success rate in the second phase.

Each firm can select the stadium in which they would like the tests to take place and the process will be divided into three parts:

  • Shots from all over the pitch into an empty net. A 100% success rate is needed to pass phase one.
  • 'Dynamic' tests: a ball-shooting machine will fire shots into the goal where a fixed wall will at first stop the ball crossing the line, and then be moved back inside the goal at different distances from the line. A 90% success rate is needed to pass phase one.
  • 'Static' tests: a ball is placed on a sledge and moved at slow motion across the goal-line, sometimes with the ball rotating. A 90% success rate of this test is also needed to pass phase one.

For each test, an immediate signal that the ball has crossed the line must be sent to a referee's watch.

Suppliers that successfully pass phase one will be subjected to more rigorous and scientific testing in phase two, and Fifa said these will be carried out in "different lighting conditions as per the Fifa requirements for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil".

A statement from the governing body continued: "A higher volume of tests will be conducted to ensure a more precise evaluation of the fitness of a technology and to provide a full statistical analysis.

"This will include more simulated match scenarios as well as other factors including: software reliability; transmission signal quality; performance under changing weather conditions as well as on different pitch surfaces."

The International Football Association Board, the game's law-making body, will be presented with the findings at a special meeting in July 2012.

British company Hawk-Eye is expected to be one of the firms that apply. It believes its technology is 100% accurate but was not part of the first tests at Fifa headquarters in February because it needed a stadium in which to use its systems.

All 10 companies tested in February failed - including one system that registered a goal when the ball was two inches above the crossbar - although three did come close to being 100% accurate.

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