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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 3, 2011

FIFA unveil goal-line tech testing

FIFA have announced a two-stage testing programme for goal-line technology as the pressure builds for the introduction of systems to help referees determine whether the ball has crossed the line.

Companies will need to demonstrate 90% accuracy rates for their prototype systems in order to get through the first phase and then return a 100% success rate in the second phase.

FIFA changed their stance last year after Frank Lampard's disallowed goal in the World Cup and now accept the need for goal-line technology - if the systems can be show to be completely reliable.

Lampard was also at the centre of the latest controversy this weekend when he was awarded a goal for Chelsea against Tottenham despite TV pictures showing the whole of the ball had not crossed the line.

Companies have until June 3 to register their interest with FIFA, who will share the costing of the testing. Each firm can select which stadium they would like the tests to take place.

The tests will be divided into three parts:

•  shots from all over the pitch into an empty net. A 100% success rate is needed to pass phase one.

•  'dynamic' tests: a ball-shooting machine will fire shots into the goal where a fixed wall will at first stop the ball crossing the line, and then be moved back inside the goal at different distances from the line. A 90% success rate is needed to pass phase one.

•  'static' tests: a ball is placed on a sledge and moved at slow motion across the goal-line, sometimes with the ball rotating. A 90% success rate of this test is also needed to pass phase one.

For each test, an immediate signal that the ball has crossed the line must be sent to a referee's watch. Companies that successfully pass phase one of the process - which will take place between September and December - will be subjected to more rigorous and scientific testing in a second phase between March and June next year.

FIFA said in a statement: "A higher volume of tests will be conducted to ensure a more precise evaluation of the fitness of a technology and to provide a full statistical analysis.

"This will include more simulated match scenarios as well as other factors including: software reliability; transmission signal quality; performance under changing weather conditions as well as on different pitch surfaces.''

The International FA Board, the game's law-making body, will be presented with the results of the testing at a special meeting in July 2012. Successful systems could be in place for the the 2014 World Cup in Brazil - FIFA say the second phase tests will be carried out in "different lighting conditions as per the FIFA requirements for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil''.

British company Hawkeye is expected to be one of the firms that apply to FIFA - they believe their technology is 100% accurate. They were not part of the first tests at FIFA headquarters in February because they needed a stadium in which to use their systems.

All 10 companies tested in February failed, although three did come close to being 100% accurate. A number of others failed hopelessly however - including one system that registered a goal when the ball when two inches above the crossbar.

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