/ Soccer

Hawk-Eye named as the Premier League's goal-line technology provider

Updated: Thursday, 11 Apr 2013 20:22 | Comments

The Hawk-Eye system will now be a feature at all Premier League grounds from next August
The Hawk-Eye system will now be a feature at all Premier League grounds from next August

Television audiences and crowds in stadiums will be able to watch replays of goal-line technology decisions from next season after the Premier League agreed a deal with the Hawk-Eye company.

The agreement, hailed by England manager Roy Hodgson as "a momentous day" for football, will see all 20 top-flight clubs use the system and the Football Association is set to follow suit with Wembley Stadium.

The Premier League confirmed that the replays will be available to be shown by broadcasters and in grounds.

The first English match to use the system should be the Community Shield at Wembley on 11 August.

The FA has been part of negotiations along with the Premier League but still has to sign a separate agreement with Hawk-Eye.

A German system, GoalControl, had also been under consideration after submitting a tender.

Hodgson, speaking at the Soccerex conference in Manchester, told reporters: "It's something that people in football have wanted for a long, long time. It has been a big debate and it was pushed back but it's great now to see that everyone is on the same page and that they have introduced it.

"At least it will stop some of those gross injustices that we have seen in recent years where goals have obviously been scored and not allowed.

"It will be one of those momentous days in football. It will alongside days like the changing the offside law, and not least the backpass to the goalkeeper law which at the time many of us were very sceptical about at the time but now we have taken to our hearts and appreciate it."

Hawk-Eye, which was sold to technology giant Sony two years ago, already provides systems for tennis and cricket.

The Premier League provided seed money to help Hawk-Eye develop a goal-line technology system back in 2007, but there was no formal relationship with the company.

The technology instantly sends a message to the referee that the ball has crossed the goal-line via a special watch.

The long-awaited agreement comes after a campaign which only bore fruit after Frank Lampard's 'ghost goal' for England against Germany at the 2010 World Cup that persuaded FIFA president Sepp Blatter to change his mind on the issue.

League chiefs made their recommendation for Hawk-Eye based on both cost and ease of implementation and use.

Earlier this month FIFA chose GoalControl, which is also a camera-based system, for the Confederations Cup in Brazil in June and next year's World Cup finals.

Two other systems, also German, have also been licensed by FIFA but they both use magnetic sensors rather than cameras.

Former Arsenal and FA vice-chairman David Dein, who has long campaigned for goal-line technology, claimed every top-flight referee in England was in favour of having a system.

He said: "The Premier League will be the first league in Europe to introduce it.

"I have been on this campaign for six or seven years and now it's going to happen.

"The referees need help, the camera will always beat the eye, and every referee in the Premier League is in favour of it."

The head of Spain's Primera Division said it would follow suit and bring in goal-line technology in two or three years.

Francisco Roca Perez told the Soccerex conference: "We are truly advocates for technology and we will look at the systems and the cost.

"We are not going to be as quick as the Premier League but we are in favour of the system.

"I expect that in two or three years we will be able to do something like this either with technology that we buy or that we create ourselves."

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