The use of goal-line technology (GLT) continues to expand, with UEFA the latest football organisation to back the technology, approving it for the upcoming EURO 2016 and for the 2016/17 Champions League from the play-offs onwards.
Since GLT was first approved by the International Football Association Board (The IFAB) in 2012, it has been successfully implemented across a number of FIFA events, including the FIFA World Cup™, the FIFA Women’s World Cup™, the FIFA Confederations Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. It has also been used at national level by member associations such as The FA in England and the DFB in Germany, as well as by a number of leagues including the Premier League (England), Ligue 1 (France), Bundesliga (Germany), Serie A (Italy) and selected matches in the Eredivisie (Netherlands).
Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson, who took part in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ and is considered one of Europe’s top officials, is a strong proponent of the technology, despite having had some doubts before using GLT at FIFA competitions.
“I have to admit I was a bit sceptical. How would it work? Would it be reliable? But after testing the system and refereeing my first match, I felt that all my questions were answered. The information that comes from the system is accurate, quick and reliable,” Eriksson said.
“I am certain that all officials, players and fans will appreciate the implementation of GLT in UEFA competitions. To have goal-line technology in more stadiums and in more competitions across the globe makes sense as it will take away all future discussions around ‘did the ball pass the line or not?’”
The adoption of goal-line technology by additional leagues and competitions is also welcomed by Johannes Holzmüller, FIFA’s Head of Football Technology Innovation, whose team oversaw the comprehensive testing process for GLT as part of the FIFA Quality Programme before it was subsequently approved.
“Goal-line technology has been installed on four continents and it is clear to see the advantages of the technology – most importantly as a support and real help for referees, but also for the benefit of teams and fans,” Holzmüller said. “Today’s announcement by UEFA marks another important step for the acceptance of goal-line technology in football.”
Technology is constantly improving, as evidenced by The IFAB agreeing to higher standards for GLT in October 2013, while costs have come down since 2012. The IFAB has reiterated that the decision on whether or not to use GLT is up to the individual competition organisers to take independently. Currently, the number of countries with FIFA-certified GLT installations is eight, the number of FIFA-accredited GLT providers is three and the number of FIFA-accredited test institutes is four. FIFA, through the FIFA Quality Programme, will continue to oversee the licensing process and implementation of GLT while supporting member associations and competition organisers who choose to use the technology, for instance through the GLT recommendations.
For further information on GLT and the FIFA Quality Programme, go to www.fifa.com/quality.