ZURICH: The two pioneers of goal-line technology – Hawkeye and GoalRef  – appear poised to compete against each other for the right to win FIFA’s all-important World Cup contract writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The two systems were approved for use by the law-making International Board last July after stringent testing and both were used during the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan last December. Neither was needed to resolve an ‘over-the-line’ issue.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter had always insisted – after changing his mind for the need for GLT after the 2010 World Cup – that a system would be put in place in Brazil both for this year’s Confederations Cup in June and  next year’s World Cup finals.

Now that FIFA has been reassured by independent testers that both systems functioned as effectively as could be ascertained in Japan, the world federation has invited tenders for the 2013 and 2014 contracts.

Tendering is open to other companies but, given the strict demands, it is unlikely that any other companies can compete at such short notice though two other German systems are a long way down the testing line.

Hawkeye is a camera-based system while the Danish/German GoalRef operates through a chip in the ball and under-goal sensitivity.

A FIFA statement said: “After a successful implementation of Goal-Line Technology (GLT) at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in December 2012, FIFA has decided to use GLT at the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 and 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.

“The aim is to use GLT in order to support the match officials and to install a system in all stadia, pending the successful installation, and pre-match referee tests.

“With different technologies on the market, FIFA has launched a tender today, setting out the technical requirements for the two forthcoming competitions in Brazil.

“The two GLT providers already licensed under FIFA’s Quality Programme for GLT, and other GLT providers currently in the licensing process (that must have passed all relevant tests as of today) are invited to submit tenders.

“Interested GLT companies will be invited to join an inspection visit to the Confederations Cup venues, currently scheduled for mid-March, with a final decision due to be confirmed in early April.

René Dünkler – technology marketing director for Fraunhofer IIS, the company behind GoalRef – confirmed: “We are preparing a tender. I think Fraunhofer has a very nice technology for GLT and can provide a lot of efforts such as easy installation, because we only need the goals, the balls and the watch for the referee.

“GoalRef is a wireless system, so we don´t have ‘line of site’ conditions such as when the goalkeeper is over the ball or corner situations.”


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