The English Premier League season kicked off in mid-August with all 20 stadiums equipped with goal-line technology or the “goal decision system”, as it is referred to in official communications. The system was called into action on the first weekend of play, when the Hawk-Eye technology assisted the referee in a close-call incident during the match between Chelsea and Hull City.
With technology in other sports coming under scrutiny in recent weeks – cricket saw controversy around the “hotspot” technology during the Ashes series and Irish media reported on an issue with technology in GAA – the first matches indicated that the systems in the Premier League stadiums were up to the task. In accordance with the requirements of the Laws of the Game, the systems installed in each of the venues were thoroughly tested by FIFA-accredited test institute Labosport, thus establishing their functionality and accuracy. All 20 venues (as well as Wembley Stadium) have therefore been certified for one year and are eligible to host competitive matches with the use of goal-line technology, subject to the tournament organiser’s regulation.
All eyes will be on the remainder of the games this season with other leagues and competition organisers looking to gain insights into the functionality, practicability and effectiveness of the system as well as understand the requirements for implementing goal-line technology.
A list of all FIFA-certified goal-line technology installations can be found in the link on the right.