Don't blame us if it doesn't work properly! FIFA demand goal-line technology firms take out insurance if it goes wrong
10:23 GMT, 23 October 2012
FIFA have ordered goal-line
technology companies to take out insurance cover so they won't face costly lawsuits if they fail to spot a goal or players and officials are injured by their equipment.
Hawk-Eye and GoalRef have received
official authorisation to install their systems worldwide after being
granted licences by FIFA.
The technology is likely be introduced to the Barclays Premier League for the start of next season.
But the companies have had to provide
insurance so that if the systems fail – either failing to spot the ball
has crossed the line or registering wrongly that the ball was over the
line – they are covered if legal action is launched against them.
Over the line: Two technology companies have signed agreements with FIFA
It also covers any claims if a player or official says they have been injured by the equipment.
FIFA rules on insurance for goal-line technology state: 'This policy
should provide sufficient insurance coverage for claims being raised by
third parties due to the licensee's activities or omissions (failure to
act) as well as claims being raised due to potentially faulty
claim is deemed as a demand for compensation of bodily injury, property
damage and pure financial loss. The policy shall be concluded with a
well-respected and reputable national or international insurance
The granting of
the licences means the systems can now be installed in stadiums, after
which they will undergo a final inspection by an independent test
institute before being allowed to function.
The first competitive tournament using the systems is expected to be FIFA's Club World Cup in Japan in December.
Goal-line technology has moved another
small step closer after the two providers, GoalRef and Hawk-Eye, signed
licence agreements with FIFA.
The move means both companies, who
have been competing for more than a year for the right to be considered,
now have authorisation to install and use their systems across the
A joint Danish-German system, GoalRef uses magnetic fields to detect
whether the ball has crossed the line. Three magnetic strips are placed
inside the outer lining of the ball, between the bladder and the outer
casing, and when the ball crosses the line these are detected by sensors
inside the goalposts and crossbar.
The sensors send out electronic waves which are disrupted when the ball
crosses the line, and a computer then sends a message to the match
officials' watch receivers in less than a second.
Installation costs should be lower than Hawk-Eye but still significant.
There remains possible issues over deals with manufacturers to allow the
magnetic strips inside their balls, but GoalRef have already been in
contact with the manufacturers.
Camera-based system developed by a British company which
was bought last year by Sony. Used by tennis and cricket.
Six or seven high-speed cameras at both ends of the stadium, mounted
on the roof, track the ball in flight and a computer system calculates
exactly where the ball is on the pitch, sending an electronic message to
a watch-like receiver worn by the match officials when it crosses the
The only issue is whether the Hawk-Eye cameras would work in the very
rare instance of the ball being completely covered by the keeper's
FIFA have insisted that the pictures will not be shown on TV or
stadium screens after any controversial incident, with only the
officials being alerted whether the ball crossed the line.
The systems are
set to be trialled at the Club World Cup in December before being
introduced in the Barclays Premier League next season.
Both GoalRef and Hawk-Eye have been put
through rigorous laboratory and field tests since being selected as the
final two by football's governing body.
system is required to send an immediate message to a watch worn by the
match officials within a second of the ball crossing the line.
tests included exposing the equipment and watches to extreme heat and
cold, as well as humidity and heavy rain. Experiments also took place
during live matches including England's match against Belgium on June 2.
Hawk-Eye system – developed by a British company now owned by Sony – is
based on cameras and GoalRef, a Danish-German development, uses
In a statement on FIFA's website, they
said: 'In order to become a FIFA licensee, both companies also had to
meet a range of application requirements such as compliance with the
code of conduct of the WFSGI (World Federation of the Sporting Goods
Industry), as well as fulfilling the ISO 9001 standard to demonstrate
fitness for business.'
FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke
said earler this year that they intended to also bring goal-line
technology in for next year's Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup
Controversy: The issue was once again highlighted at Euro 2012 during England's match with hosts Ukraine when John Terry spectacularly hooked a ball clear from just behind the line.
statement added: 'Once a system has been installed in a stadium, the
system undergoes a final inspection to check its functionality. This is
carried out by an independent test institute, and the results of this
so-called 'final installation test' must be successful.
'Only a positive final installation
test qualifies a system to be used in official matches. When this
occurs, the system is awarded the FIFA QUALITY PRO mark.
Valcke has said FIFA would pay for the systems – around $250,000 per stadium – and leave them in place in the stadiums.
general secretary Alex Horne also said at the time: 'We believe that it
is a great day for football. From an English perspective today is a
hugely important day, it is a cause we have had on our agenda for a
number of years.
'This is about having the right technology helping the referee in a relatively rare occurrence – the scoring of a goal.'
Meanwhile, German company Cairos developing a third system are applying to be approved by the International FA Board at their meeting in Scotland in March.
HOW OTHER SPORTS HAVE LED THE WAY
The third umpire was first introduced in international cricket 20 years
ago, primarily for on-field umpires to call for assistance for run-out
and stumping decisions and whether catches had carried to fielders. Over
the years the remit has been expanded as technologies have advanced
with third umpires now having access to super-slow motion, infrared
imaging, stump microphones and the predictive ball-tracking 'Hawk-Eye',
which can rule on lbws. Players can now challenge umpires' decisions by
calling for a TV review.
Wimbledon watchers will remember the bleeps of 'Cyclops', the infrared
system which was used to detect whether serves were in or out and was
introduced at the championships in 1980. These days the showpiece
matches utilise Hawk-Eye, which tracks the ball all over the court. If a
player disagrees with a line judge's call, they can call for a Hawk-Eye
review and are allowed two incorrect challenges per set.
Leading the way: The Hawk-Eye system is already in use in tennis
The video referee came into rugby league with the launch of Super League
in 1996 and has become part of the competition's fabric, although it is
still only used in live TV matches for cost reasons.
The system has been refined over the years but the video referee can
rule on a wide range of decisions when called upon by the referee, with
the exception of the forward pass, for which camera angles can be
deceptive. The system is also used in televised Challenge Cup ties,
Australia's NRL and selected international fixtures.
The 15-man code paved the way for the introduction of the Television
Match Official in 2001. They are now regularly used at the top level but
their scope remains limited with referees only able to call for
assistance in acts of scoring. That could change later this year with
the International Rugby Board having approved trials for reviews on
other matters within the field of play.
Since last season the TMO has been used in all English Premiership games, not just those being televised.
The NFL introduced a replay system in 1986 with an extra official used
to review certain plays. It was dropped in 1992 amid general feeling it
had done little to improve the game but a new method of coaches'
challenges was brought in seven years later.
When a challenge is made in the NFL, it is the on-field referee
himself who will watch replays, under a hood, on the sidelines. He must
see clear evidence of an error and has 60 seconds to make a decision.
Coaches are allowed to challenge two decisions per game but if both are
successful are allowed a third. If a challenge is unsuccessful, the team
is charged with a timeout. Challenges cannot be made in the final two
minutes of each half, or overtime, but all plays are observed by an
additional TV official.