back to article Football goal-line tracking tech delayed

A programme to test the use of goal-line technology in football has been extended by a year, after none of the ten systems trialled last month met the criteria set by Fifa. The systems were presented to the International Football Association Board last week at its annual meeting to review the sport's laws. But while snoods …


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  1. John I'm only dancing

    DRM and root kit

    So Hawk-Eye would appear to be doomed, now that Sony has its mits on it.

  2. lglethal Silver badge


    Interesting that FIFA can state that all 10 systems failed when they (according to hawkeye at least) dont specify enough details to make a call about what constitutes a success or a failure.

    Sounds like it turned out to be just what i expected from FIFA when they announced the test. i.e. FIFA would make some noise about trialling the tech, but then would make the requirements so vague and able to be interpreted in so many ways that everyone would be doomed to fail from the start, so FIFA can hold up there hands and say everyone failed so we cant change anything... yadda yadda yadda...

    Same old, from the same old corrupt bastards...

    1. Charles 9

      To be fair...

      ...the challenge IS considerable. Consider simply the basics.

      1) You're trying to track a slightly-malleable ball capable of being propelled from the body at considerable velocities. This means the ball changes shape from moment to moment, and there is no reliable way of determining the shape of the ball within the ball. This is critical since the physical ball must cross the plane of the goal line to count. This basically rules out in-the-ball tech.

      2) For a goal to count, the ball must pass an invisible planar segment comprised defined by the goal line on the ground and the metal frame of the goal. Since the ball can score while in midair, ground-based tech cannot be used.

      3) The goal plane does not extend beyond the goal frame, but players and/or the ball may pass the goal to one side or (for the ball) high. Players passing the goal to the side can block any camera aimed down the goal line. Since goal-line scenes (especially in situations like corner kicks) can get crowded, players could pass both sides of the goal at once, so having two cameras (one to either side) could still miss. The ball being able to sail over the crossbar precluded using any overhead camera; sooner or later, a ball WILL hit it.


  3. Anonymous Coward

    who cares?

    It's only bloody football. There are only 180,000 people in the UK who support this silly game (source: Football Supporters Association), so why on earth is so much money wasted on it?

    Hand grenade, well, because those 180,000 people are a bit prissy about their "sport" being the national game.

    1. Michael B.

      Probably a factor of ten or more out

      The total of the average Premier league attendance figures are around 700 000 out of a total capacity of 770 000. This is just the Premier league turnstile figures and ignores any TV coverage or other league games.

      Taking in all the leagues down the the Blue Square and you have 1.4 million people through the turnstile each normal week of the year.

      Stats from -

      Much more than your 180 000 which is less than the combined average attendance of the top 3 attended teams in the Premier League.

    2. Tiny Iota


      Considering the capacities of Old Trafford, Anfield and The Emirates alone add up to over 180,000, I doubt that

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Go on..... I'll take the bait.. I'm having a quiet day here

      After all, you took the time to post something you don't give a shit about. <sigh>

      Anyhoo - The obvious bit is the fact that 180,000 doesn't come close to the top half of Premiership supporters. And that's not including the Man Utd fans who've never even been to Manchester!!

      The organisation you're referring to is actually the Football Supporters Federation, not Association. And the number is their membership and associated interests. Not actual fans. Please slow me down if this is too taxing.

      Why is so much money wasted on it?? No idea. But lots of folk are making lots of money and lots of people like it. A bit like Apple, but with a larger demographic.

      I'd have a pop at something you like, but it appears you've not listed anything.....

    4. Anonymous Coward


      Oh come on, you'd think a troll would be at least a little bit more imaginative!!

    5. Anonymous Coward

      Made up figures!

      Where the hell did you get a figure of 180,000 people from? There's probably at least twice that number attending premiership games each week, not to mention the rest of the professional, semi-professional and amateur games, together with millions of armchair fans

    6. Michael
      Thumb Down


      check your figures.

      I know that crowds at matches in scotland over a weekend can easily clear 100K and that is only those attending the match.

      English premier league averages a higher number of spectators a week than your figures:

    7. fishman

      UK fans

      Considering that there were an estimated 20.1 million people in the UK watching the UK-USA world cup game in 2010, there are more than 180,000 fans in the UK.

    8. Pete 69


      180K members of the FSF maybe, but during a typical weekend seeing 75000 at Old Trafford, 40000 at Stamford Bridge, 60000 at The Emirates, 40000 at Villa Park, plus the rest of the Premier League and football league clubs, plus countless more watching at home on Sky Sports, I'm afraid your figure is drastically wrong.

  4. Owain 1
    Thumb Up

    They got it right...

    on the snoods.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Because there's no other, more important, topics to discuss. Snoods are the ultimate evil in football.

  5. Anonymous Coward


    "none of the ten systems trialled last month met the criteria set by Fifa"

    Lots of VIP trips to exotic places for progress meetings / demos?

  6. Steve Evans


    The difference between tennis, where a ball has to go a specific side of a line every couple of seconds and football, where a ball might, if you're lucky, get kicked over a line half a dozen times in the space of 90 minutes is huge!

    Surely this could be adequately covered with a camera or two? 5th umpire style. It works fine for cricket and of course Rugby.

    The sooner they make use of all the TV feeds which are already available, and let the ref see (or be informed by) what the world plus dog have just seen, and screamed abuse at their TV set for, the better.

  7. Sekundra
    Big Brother

    Hawk Eye... Kinect competition?

    Am I missing the point here, or is Sony after the tech / IP owned by HawkEye to bring more accurate movement sensors to their games console side of things? Imagine HawkEye in the living room watching your gestures as you play CoD etc....

    1. John I'm only dancing

      I'm afraid so, but I can see where you're coming from

      Hawk-Eye relies on more than one camera to calculate the trajectory and path of the ball, although I suspect they wanted to get their hands on the cash it generates.

  8. markd74

    Success and fail

    Surely it's more than half the ball over the centre of the goal line?

    1. BenR

      Sadly, no

      The rule/law in football (soccer, not American rules rugby) has always been that the whole of the ball has to cross the whole of the line.

      The thing that gets me is that given the number of laser-scanner type technologies that are around, including those clever 3D scanners you can use to replicate solid objects, is that surely it can't be hard to put a transceiver assembly in each post, the bar and under the goal line, then use a computer to interpret the results of objects passing through the plane of the field until it sees a circular object pass through, get gradually larger then smaller until it vanishes, indicating that a spherical object has passed through the plane completely? (ref. 'Flatworld')

      1. Charles 9

        You should see a kicked ball on a high-speed camera.

        First, a football isn't stiff and rigid. It's somewhat malleable, and when propelled at velocity tends to distort a bit while in flight. Second, a football has the misfortune of being approximately the size of a human head, which is itself rather round. Third, the ball may not be the only thing passing through, nor may it be passing by itself (think a ball being propelled in by a diving head--the sensors may see the combination player/ball as one object and certainly not as a spheroid).

        The big issue with goal-line tech is distinguishing the ball from players, which isn't as easy for a computer to pick out as you would think. Rugby, tennis have the advantage that the judgment calls deal with where the ball touches the ground: a relatively simple task. Cricket judgment calls usually are about contacts (why Hotspot and Snicko are used) and ball trajectories in an uncrowded setting (the pitch must be clear during a delivery, so Hawkeye doesn't have to factor in foreign bodies in its trajectory projections). Baseball doesn't employ Hawkeye-like tech officially but unofficial trackers again face an uncomplicated picture because the positions of the players during a pitch are confined.

  9. Scott Broukell

    For crying ite loud !

    if they can pause for a minute or two to watch a video replay in the ruggers and crickets, why can't they do the same with footie. No need for all this spensive 'wonder' techerie. Just give them each 3 x chances to challenge the ref per half. If a challenge is successful after video replay they keeps the challenge intact, simples, n'est pas ?

  10. LuMan

    Not surprising, really

    FIFA have been dead-set against this since day 1. I can't see them tripping over themselves to make it easy for the tech to make a presence.

    Mind you, if they DID allow goal-line technology, they wouldn't be able to 'persuade' refs to 'not see' certain goals during major tournaments......

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    While we're on the subject of Hawkeye...

    In tennis, why does the Hawkeye replay consist of a computer animation showing the ball hitting the line? Of course it's going to hit the bloody line - it's an animation!

    Why don't they show the real video that the Hawkeye cameras are working from? One can only assume that it's not so clear cut after all.

    /Paris because she once got animated over some clear cut video

  12. Franklin 0


    Let the goal keeper make the call.

    Review every game.

    If the keeper lies, he gets a two-year suspension without pay.

    If he appeals the suspension there are only two possible outcomes: exoneration or a lifetime ban.

  13. BoldMan

    Sod expensive unreliable technology...

    Why not try some extra expensive and unreliable Eyeball Mk 1s? Just add a couple of extra linesmen to stand next to the bloody goals and LOOK for the ball to cross the line a bit like a tennis linesman? Okay so its not 100% perfect (wtf ever is?) but it will be BETTER than the current farce!

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Actually they are doing this...

      ... if you've watched any recent European games (Europa league or Champions League) you will see that they have an extra linesman at each end behind the goals to help officiate in the final third.

      Theyre pretty much useless. Ive only ever seen them make a call twice (one about whether a tackle was inside the box or not, and 1 about the last touch before the ball went out), both times theyve been wrong. The extra refs are a waste of money, pure and simple.

      At least with technology its hard to argue that a subjective decision is made rather then an objective decision. It might still turn out to be the wrong decision but you cant accuse technology of being biased for/against your team...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FIFA have no interest in this...

    ...for the simple reason that they will no longer be able to fix the results of world/regional international competition.

    FIFA issues detailed "guidelines" to referees about how they want the rules "interpreted" - especially on WC qualifiers/tournament.

    The results of which are clear for all to see - a clear bias towards the host country or the country which will generate most revenue for FIFA (France v Ireland, South Korea v Spain are particularly egregious cases).

    None of this would be possible were there video replays available.

    Havelange and his cronies corrupted FIFA and Blatter is happy to drive the gravy train.

    WC (and to a lesser extent EUFA) international competitions have been "guided" to results/participants which FIFA want - rather than honest competition - for decades (1978 was when the real rot set in).

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