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Question of the Week

When should John Fenty stand down?

Immediately
End of season
When successor found
Job for life!


Technology on Board!
Technology on Board!

Goal Line Technology On Its Way To A Club Near You

By: Mertle
Date: 05/10/2005

THE Adidas "smartball" could change the face of football forever. Apparently FIFA has been impressed after it was used in the recent under 17 world championships.

It has also been set to be used in the World Club Championship in December in Japan. A competition, which will have European champions Liverpool, playing against Sydney FC at the Aussie Stadium Sydney on Sunday (October 9).

A Fifa spokesman said "It could have a positive future"

However, a final decision will be made on 4th March 2006 whether the technology gets the green light.

Obviously costs could dictate how far down any countries domestic pyramid league structure who will actually benefit from this. FIFA if they do green light it will undoubtedly trial it at some league domestic competition before widespread installation.

I can see it being incoporated in premier and football league level. So Grimsby and other Football League sides could be one of the first to have the new goal line technology. The question will arise as to who will meet the costs of installing the device at grounds. The club or the Football Authorities?

In saying that, any system which eliminates errors where any error of Judgement can cause clubs to lose absolute fortunes, surely has to be a good thing to promote fair play.

About the 'Smartball'

The 'Smartball' is fitted with a tiny microchip designed to help a referee decide whether the ball has crossed the goal line completely - and will also be used to determine whether the ball has gone out of play.

FIFA secretary-general Urs Linsi said the 'Smartball' and so-called goal-line technology, developed by Adidas with German company Cairos AG and the German Fraunhofer Institute - was in no way a substitute for the eyes and experience of the referee.

"The referee is in charge, he's the boss on the pitch and that won't change. This is an aid to the referee," he said.

The microchip - less 15mm in size - sends out a radio signal when the ball crosses the touchline, as if it had touched an electric fence.

That signal is relayed by up to 12 antennae positioned in the corners of the pitch to a computer which then sends a message to a watch worn on the referee's wrist in less than one second, said Guenter Pfau, Adidas' manager for relations with FIFA.

The message makes a virtually inaudible signal and the referee need never even use the technology, unless he is in doubt, Mr Pfau said.

If required, a quick glance at the watch will reveal the word "goal" or no message, indicating no goal. Any goal messages are stored in the watch's memory with the time logged.

Mr Linsi said the referee would always have the final say and could ignore even a goal message from the 'Smartball'.

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