Goal-line technology should be in place at Wembley Stadium for the Community Shield – and replays of the system’s decisions will be shown on television, Football Association general secretary Alex Horne revealed in Edinburgh yesterday.
However, Horne questioned whether the technology replays would be allowed on big screens in stadiums despite Fifa saying it would have no objection. The FA and the Premier League are tendering together for a system and are in advanced talks with two of the four licensed providers, including British-based firm Hawk-Eye.
Horne, speaking ahead of an International FA Board (IFAB) meeting in the Scottish capital, said: “We are in the middle of tendering at the moment with the Premier League, so it is effectively 20 Premier League clubs and Wembley Stadium. We are looking at the providers that are available and will be making a decision shortly. We expect the technology to be in place for next season, for the Community Shield.”
In terms of replays, Horne said: “Certainly the broadcasters need to have that accessibility to show the goal-line incident because that’s at the heart of the integrity of the decision that has been made.
“Whether you show it in the stadium falls in the ‘controversial decision’ element to me and we have not made a decision on that.”
The Premier League said yesterday that goal-line technology systems will be mandatory in its clubs’ stadiums, and Horne said that a decision had still to be taken on whether it would be used in FA Cup matches involving a top-flight side and one from a lower league.
He said: “My view is that it exists as an advantage for both teams. It will also be available for example for the play-offs next season at Wembley but it is a decision for the Football League whether they want to use it.”
Of the four licensed providers, three – GoalRef, CAIROS and GoalControl – are German but Horne said the history of goal-line controversies involving England and Germany, from the 1966 World Cup final through to Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal in 2010, would have no bearing on the decision.
He added: “We are looking for the best technology – at the most reasonable price.”
IFAB, the game’s law-makers, had previously insisted the replays would not be permitted but now that stance has changed. It means there could be opportunities for sponsors to become involved, as they are in cricket and tennis.
A 34-page booklet sent by Fifa to national associations refers to using replays, stating: “This is up to the competition organiser. The question of whether and how replays are shown on TV or on an LED screen in a stadium should be one of the first discussion points when starting the implementation of goal-line technology in a competition.
“Fifa recommends involving referees in this discussion as well, due to the fact that the main objective of GLT is to support and protest the referee.”
Fifa will report to IFAB that both systems worked without errors in the Club World Cup in Japan – all 21 goals scored were flashed to the referee’s wrist-device within a second of the ball crossing the line.