FIFA sets out timetable for technology tests

ZURICH - FIFA on Tuesday announced a timetable for goal-line technology tests with a first stage to be held later this year and a final report to be presented to the sports rule-making body in July next year.

The announcement came three days after Chelsea beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in the English Premier League with a late goal in which, replays showed, the ball did not cross the line.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who was opposed to goal-line technology until an incident in last year's Germany-England World Cup match, has already said that it could be used at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil if a suitable system could be found in time.

FIFA said that potential suppliers of the technology needed to declare their interest by June 3 and formally apply one month later, paying a $20,000 registration fee.

FIFA said the first stage of tests would be held between September and December and that systems achieving at least 90 percent accuracy in simulated match situations could be invited back for the second stage of tests between March and June next year.

This would be a more exhaustive set of tests to evaluate the performance of the technology under different weather conditions, proof of shock resistance, immunity to electronic interference and performance on different types of pitches.

All tests would be held in a stadium chosen by the manufacturers and behind closed doors, FIFA said.

A final report would then be presented to the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in July next year for a possible decision.

FIFA conducted private testing for 10 systems in February but all of them failed to meet the exacting requirements.


The last month has seen two controversies which could have an impact on which teams qualify for which European competition.

On April 3, Lazio appeared to have a goal wrongly disallowed against Napoli in Italy's Serie A when Cristian Brocchi's long-range effort bounced down off the crossbar and replays showed it had crossed the line by at least a metre.

The score was 2-2 at the time and, although Lazio scored shortly afterwards, they went on to lose 4-3 and suffer a costly defeat in their battle for a place in the Champions League next season.

Lazio are fourth in Serie A, which would put them in the Champions League qualifying round, but are only one point ahead of Udinese and AS Roma.

On Saturday, Chelsea came from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1, their equaliser coming from a Frank Lampard shot which appeared not to completely cross the line.

Tottenham's defeat kept them four points behind Manchester City, who are fourth and in the Champions League qualifying round spot.

Goal-line technology has been on and off IFAB's agenda for the last five years, and was brought back to the table after being "finally" dismissed last year.

FIFA's, and Blatter's attitude, changed after the failure of officials to award a goal to England when a shot from Lampard clearly crossed the goal-line against Germany at last year's World Cup in South Africa.

Germany, leading 2-1, went on to cruise to a 4-1 win and Blatter described it as an "immense" error.

In the meantime, a new system with two extra linesman - one behind each goal-line - is being tested in a number of competitions including the Champions League.