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Jul 5, 2012

Goal-line technology set for go-ahead

International football's FA board (IFAB) is set to approve goal-line technology on Thursday after months of exhaustive tests were carried out on two systems.

The board appears certain to back both the Hawk-Eye and the GoalRef systems at a meeting in Zurich, meaning technology can be introduced by the Premier League and the FA.

However, its introduction will not be immediate because each system will have to be licensed, installed and tested in each venue to ensure it is functioning properly.

The board members will also insist that technology is used as an aid to referees' decision-making rather than being the deciding factor in whether the ball has crossed the line.

That would mean match officials could still rule out a goal based on what they have seen, even if the goal-line technology indicated that the ball was over the line.

Momentum towards goal-line technology has increased since Frank Lampard was denied an equaliser for England against Germany in the 2010 World Cup when the ball hit the bar and bounced over the line but no goal was given.

That incident caused the FIFA president Sepp Blatter to publicly back technology for the first time, and the issue hit the headlines again when Ukraine were denied a goal when the ball crossed the line against England in Euro 2012.

Tests on the Hawk-Eye and GoalRef systems were carried out by the Swiss Federal Laboratory for Materials Science and Technology, with the results evaluated by IFAB members at a meeting earlier this month.

Hawk-Eye, developed by a British company, is based on cameras, while GoalRef, a Danish-German development, uses magnetic fields.

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo said a system needed to be introduced as soon as possible, adding: "We see every season, every big tournament, that we need it because there are some crucial moments within those games where, with a bit of technology, you could find the right solution."

The IFAB meeting will also consider whether the UEFA experiment with extra officials has worked and should be continued, but UEFA president Michel Platini will not travel to Zurich to argue the case himself.

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