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Sep 29, 2009

Hawk-Eye pioneer challenges FIFA chief Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter has been openly defied by an inventor of goal-line technology, Hawk-Eye's Dr Paul Hawkins, who has written to the FIFA president informing him that he is wrong to reject an innovation the entire world of football wants because the system is not good enough.

Dr Hawkins, managing director of Hawk-Eye Innovations Ltd, has set out to attempt to expose a Blatter myth that the new technology is not ready for the professional game - while Hawkins counters that it has been successfully trialed at Reading and that the Premier League are backing it.

ESPN Soccernet has the open letter to Blatter in its possession, in which Hawkins takes great exception to Blatter answering a question raised by John Terry about goal-line technology. The England and Chelsea captain is in favour of it, but Blatter suggests the technology still needs to be refined before it is acceptable.

That has caused a fired-up Hawkins to launch a passionate plea to Blatter to re-consider as he feels goal-line technology is "good for the game", and that his system works perfectly.

Hawkins also reminds Blatter of his declaration that he is in favour of goal-line technology, providing it is "real time, accurate, reliable, only for goal-line decisions and only for use by officials."

Then Hawkins goes on the attack: "However, as you are aware, the reasons you have given as to why Hawk-Eye could not be approved do not accord with the facts. From tests conducted at Reading, the Hawk-Eye system was shown to be a very viable option and provided the correct result in 100% of the tests conducted."

Hawkins concluded: "If you believe that football is better off without goal-line technology, then please use this reason when justifying your decision rather than making a scapegoat out of the technology providers and incorrectly damaging their reputation.

"If you believe football would be better off with goal-line technology, then please embark on a fully transparent, scientific process so that technology providers are able to deliver a system which meets your requirements.

"We very much hope that this letter enables the discussion over goal-line technology to be debated from a more informed standpoint, and that no further action is required to protect our name or set the record straight. We would very much welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you in more detail and we look forward to your reply."

FIFA have tested goal-line technology at a number of tournaments in recent years but announced in March 2008 that they had decided to "stop tests in this area until further notice". Instead, FIFA approved the use of two additional assistant referees, one situated behind each goal, which has been used in the Europa League this season.

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