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Goal-Line Technology May Be Used at 2014 World Cup, FIFA Says

Goal-line technology may be used to adjudicate contentious calls at the 2014 World Cup if trials are successful, the president of soccer’s governing body said today.

Sepp Blatter, speaking at an annual meeting of the sport’s rule-making body, the International Football Association Board, in Newport, Wales, said trials by 10 companies had so far failed to meet criteria, which include being able to deliver a result to the referee within a second.

“If it works definitely, the board will say yes to the technology,” Blatter told a news conference. “If the board says yes,” then there should be no problem to have it in 2014, he said.

IFAB, which just a year ago turned its back on the idea of technology, was forced to revisit the issue after match officials failed to spot a valid goal by England’s Frank Lampard at the 2010 World Cup.

Last June, television replays showed Lampard’s shot clearly bounced over the line in Bloemfontein, South Africa. England went on to lose the game 4-1 to Germany.

Blatter told reporters two days later it would be “nonsense not to reopen the file on technology.”

Even if the technology is proven to work there’s no guarantee that it will be implemented. The eight members of the rule-making body will have to agree to adopting it.

“We are now in the position where they want to look at the technology in different environments and then we will make a decision in March next year,” said Alex Horne, chief executive of England’s Football Association. “That’s why next year’s meeting will be so important.”

Hawkeye Innovations

Hawkeye Innovations Ltd., a U.K. company which makes equipment used to review line calls in tennis, has twice been involved with trials for FIFA. It didn’t take part in February’s trials because the conditions didn’t simulate matches.

Munich-based Cairos Technologies AG has proposed the introduction of a microchip that could determine if a ball had crossed the goal line.

Blatter said new tests would be carried out later this year in matches, without specifying where and when. IFAB also agreed to extend the trial of using five officials at the 2012 European Championship in Poland and Ukraine. If the tests are successful there they may also be introduced at the World Cup.

IFAB banned the use of neck warmers, also known as snoods, in matches. They have become popular with players including Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez. The board also ruled that if players wear tights during games they must be the same color as their shorts.

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