Goal-line technology edging closer
Juan Mata's goal for Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham at Wembley again drew attention to the issue of goal-line technology.
The Spaniard's effort did not cross the line but referee Martin Atkinson awarded the goal and Chelsea were handed a 2-0 lead. Tottenham did pull a goal back, but Chelsea went on to win 5-1.
Goal-line technology was approved in principle by football's law-makers in March and the first system could be in place at the end of this year. The International FA Board (IFAB) announced they will go forward with final tests on two goal-line systems - British company Hawkeye's and GoalRef, a German-Danish firm - ahead of an ultimate decision in July.
Six other systems have been ruled out after a series of experiments by scientists in Switzerland.
FA general secretary Alex Horne said it was unlikely there would be time to install a system in time for the next Premier League season, but FIFA plan to have one for the Club World Cup in Japan in December if either of the two systems is approved.
The Confederations Cup in Brazil next year should also have a system in place.
Hawk-Eye's is a camera-based system while GoalRef uses a magnetic field around the goal with a special ball to identify a goal situation.
GoalRef's website highlights England's controversial 1966 World Cup final goal against West Germany as the kind of decision it can get right.
The second test phase to take place between now and June will make sure each system is robust enough to remain accurate in a match situation.
The systems will only act as an aid to referees, with a signal sent to the official only within a second of the ball crossing the line. It is up to the referee then to decide whether to award a goal or not.
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