Plans to have goal-line technology in place around Premier League grounds next season look to be over.
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore believes it is unlikely to be introduced to the English top flight next season as the final phase of testing on two systems started this week, with the idea to have a winning bid in place for the new season.
The two, Hawk-Eye and GoalRef, are to undergo stringent examination with a decision about its implementation expected at a meeting on July 2 of the sport’s rule-making body, the International Football Association Board, IFAB.
But Scudamore does not believe it is possible to bring in a new system ahead of the 2012/13 Premier League campaign.
“It’s imminent and we’ll look to put it in front of our clubs as soon as we practically can in terms of implementation,” he said.
“But it is unlikely to be for next season given the time scales involved with FIFA approving it and the start of our season, there’s far too many logistical things that would need to happen so it’s unlikely for next season. Perhaps the season after is within the time frame to do it properly.”
Hawk-Eye managing director Steve Carter believes their version of goal-line technology is on-course to be licensed by FIFA. The British company and German-Danish firm GoalRef are vying to be approved as authorised suppliers of the technology and were chosen for the next testing phase by IFAB.
The second phase of testing on Hawk-Eye began this week at Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium. The process will continue today and next week the system will be tried in the Hampshire Senior Cup final between Eastleigh and AFC Totton, with another match to be tested before IFAB’s final decision a day after this summer’s Euro 2012 Final.
“It is tremendously exciting and it will be the highest profile and biggest sport that we do if we’re successful,” Carter said. “FIFA have appointed an independent scientific research institution called EMPA and they basically set a series of tests that we need to perform against.
“Subject to Hawk-Eye passing those tests, hopefully we will be approved for use as an official goal-line technology adjudicator. All of the results are confidential.
We don’t get to find out, but every indication is that everything is running very smoothly.”
Hawk-Eye’s system uses seven high-speed cameras at each end of the ground to calculate a three-dimensional position of the ball, while GoalRef uses a chip in the ball which is monitored by magnetic fields in the goal.
Premier League chiefs hoped both systems could be available for the start of next season if approved by IFAB, but Carter was keen not to talk about timescales.
“It varies from ground to ground on how long it takes to install the system,” he said. “At the moment all of our concentration and energy is on doing as well as we can, making the technology as good as possible and making sure that we get excellent results from phase two.
“The roll out of that technology is something we have a lot of experience in through our work with cricket and tennis, but it is not something we are focusing on at the moment.”
Asked if it was feasible to have it in place for the start of next season, he added: “It is impossible for me to say right now. You would have to survey the grounds and there would be a lot of logistical things that we would need to go through and at the moment I don’t have that information.”
Tags: Chelsea, Goal-line Technology, GoalRef, Hawk-Eye, Premier League, RESPECT, Richard Scudamore, Tottenham Hotspur