Goal-line technology approved in soccer

Story highlights

  • Goal-line technology approved for use in football on Thursday
  • Global governing body FIFA and IFAB unanimously agree on decision
  • FIFA intends for goal-line technology to be used at December's Club World Cup
  • Two systems, Hawk-Eye and GoalRef, approved by soccer's lawmakers

Football's lawmakers have taken the historic step of unanimously approving goal-line technology systems for use in the sport.

World soccer's global governing body FIFA and the International Football Association Board (IFAB) made the announcement following a meeting in Zurich on Thursday.

FIFA intend for goal-line technology to be used at December's Club World Cup in Japan, and if successful it will also be implemented at the 2013 African Cup of Nations and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Two systems, designed by technology companies GoalRef and Hawk-Eye, have been approved after going through two phases of FIFA testing.

UEFA chief opposed to goal-line technology

FIFA president Sepp Blatter had previously opposed the move but said the turning point had been an incident at the 2010 World Cup involving a second round clash between England and Germany.

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Blatter was present when midfielder Frank Lampard's shot bounced well over the goal-line but was not awarded by the officials in a match England went on to lose 4-1.

"It is a real approach of modern times in football," he told reporters. "It is so important because the objective in football is to score goals. It's a help for the referee.

"I'm happy, I'm pleased we are able to go forward. When it comes to high level competition and you have the technology and you don't use it something is wrong.

"I have changed my attitude towards technology because of Lampard's kick in South Africa. That was the moment for me to say 'You are the president of FIFA and you cannot afford that in the next World Cup something similar will happen.'"

The English Premier League welcomed the news, expressing its intention to bring in goal-line technology in the near future.

"The Premier League has been a long-term advocate of goal line technology," read a statement on the organization's website.

"We will engage in discussions with both Hawk-Eye and GoalRef in the near future with a view to introducing goal-line technology as soon as is practically possible."

The IFAB is comprised of FIFA and the four UK-based football associations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is a body which decides on any proposed changes to the rules of soccer.

Blog: Will FIFA regret opening technology can of worms?

The announcement follows Blatter's recent calls for goal-line technology to be introduced in reaction to an incident that occurred during Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

Co-hosts Ukraine saw a goal not given during a must-win group-stage match with England, when John Terry cleared Artim Milevskiy's shot after it looked to have crossed the line.

Following the game on June 19, Blatter used his official Twitter account to declare: "After last night's match #GLT is no longer an alternative but a necessity."

But his stance on the issue is at odds with Michel Platini, the president of European football's governing body UEFA.

The UEFA chief told CNN in May: "I'm against the technology. If you say OK to goal-line technology, then it is offside technology, then penalty area technology, and we stop the football.

"I want human people -- it's easy. I understand the fans because they want justice but with an additional referee we have the same justice."

In addition to Milevskiy's "goal" at Euro 2012, England have been involved in one other high-profile goal-line controversies.

In the 1966 World Cup final, England were awarded a goal against West Germany when Geoff Hurst's shot in extra-time rebounded off the underside of the crossbar. England went on to win the match 4-2 at Wembley.

At the same meeting, FIFA also confirmed it would permit the wearing of headscarves during a trial period.

As there was no medical risk to wearing headscarves when playing a game of football, it has decided to relent on a ban introduced in 2007.

Soccer's governing body had prevented teams wearing the traditional headscarves -- which protect the modesty of Islamic girls and women -- for safety reasons and to prevent political or religious statements.

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