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Goal line technology back at top of the football agenda

Football News 24/7
It's been a busy week as goal line technolgy has been put through its paces for Fifa.

Spotland, home to the League One side Rochdale hosted tests yesterday for 'Goalminder' . The researchers spent the day putting Goalminder through its paces at the ground.

This is after The Fifa test team spent Tuesday at Southampton's home, St Mary's, looking at Hawk-Eye, already used in other sports including cricket and tennis.

Where  Goalminder is different, is that it utilises a total of 24 cameras implanted in the goalposts, 16 of them concentrating solely on the goal-line.

Goalminder's founders say data from the cameras is processed instantaneously by a box behind the goal, and a verdict on whether the ball has crossed the line is transmitted within one second to a referee's wristwatch.

The strict testing regime is being carried out behind closed doors, but news of the researchers' visit to Rochdale will reassure football fans that the technology is finally on its way.

The Rochdale tests are part of the first phase of trials of nine European-based systems.

The system's inventor, electrician Harry Barnes, patented the technology in the 1990s and has watched it improve ever since.

He told Sky News: "If you take my system, we have eight cameras in each post, eight cameras in the crossbar. You get a definitive shot of the ball crossing the line, straight in line where the camera should be, no error. (It's a) fantastic system."

The aim - accepted now by Fifa as long as a reliable system can be found - is to rule out the possibility that a clear goal, like Frank Lampard's against Germany in the last World Cup, could be missed by the officials.

Goalminder would cost £100,000 to install in grounds.

A final decision on whether to adopt the technology - and, if so, which systems to go with - is expected next July, following a second round of testing in March but the initial reactuions to the concept and the Goalminder version have been positive.

General secretary of the Football Association Alex Horne says "it might be possible" to introduce goal-line technology in time for the start of the 2012/13 Premier League season.

Speaking to BBC Sport's Leon Mann, Horne explains that the English FA remains supportive of the technology, which is used to determine whether the ball has crossed the line.

But he adds that implementing a system in time for the start of the 2012/13 Premier League season depends on testing and securing agreement from other members of the International Football Association Board.

Former Manchester United winger Lee Sharpe says the use of goal-line technology in football is "well overdue", saying "it would be stupid not to put it straight in" as long as the technology is ready to be used.

"The technology is there now where if the ball crosses the line, you get a little bleep or a flashing light or something like that straight away then, yeah, I say bring it in," he said.

"If it's going to take a couple of seconds to stop and take a look at it then you can't do it. I think it needs to come in."

BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson believes the introduction of goal-line technology in football is long overdue.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, Lawrenson says other sports like cricket and tennis have proved technology can be used successfully and believes it's about time football caught up.

JB

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