Spurred largely by Frank Lampard's disallowed score at the last World Cup (and also the fact that's fucking 2013 and there's no reason to be guessing on goals), FIFA has settled on the specific technology that it will use for Brazil 2014. Magic cameras! Virtual replays! Dick Tracy radio wristwatches! The future is here.
Goal line tech was coming—the only question was which contractor would be chosen. The winner is German firm GoalControl, which uses a series of cameras to track the ball to within millimeters. (It's much like the Hawk-Eye system used in tennis, and in fact Hawk-Eye was one of the companies bidding for FIFA's contract.)
Here's the GoalControl fact sheet, via the BBC:
- 14 cameras, seven per goalmouth positioned high around stadium
- All objects within camera range are tracked
- Ball's position is continuously and automatically captured in three dimensions (X-, Y- and Z-coordinates) when close to the goal
- Players and referee filtered out by GoalControl computer system
- System shows the ball's position in 3D to within a few millimetres
- If the ball crosses the goal line, the system sends an encrypted radio signal to the referee's watch in less than one second
- Virtual 3D image of incident from any camera angle can be shown on screen
And here's the system in action. Note the slow-mo replay: the referee's watch signals goal before the ball hits the back of the net.
Last week, UEFA President Michel Platini said similar technology will not be coming to the Champions League, as it's too expensive.