Goalline technology to be tested at England v Belgium match
But if there's a contentious decision, only the boffins will know if the referee is right
THIS IS turning into a good week for Frank Lampard. Just days after he helped Chelsea beat Bayern Munich to lift the Champions League crown, the veteran midfielder has learned that England's friendly with Belgium on 2 June will witness a historic event - the first use of goalline technology in an international football match.
Lampard's disallowed goal against Germany in the 2010 World Cup (pictured above) caused outrage after replays showed it had hit the underside of the bar and bounced down a metre behind the goal line. The referee and his assistants waved play on and England slumped to a 4-1 defeat.
Though Fifa's initial reaction was to stick to the mantra they've been chanting for years - namely that goalline technology has no place in football - the global pressure has been mounting in recent months.
This season in England has been marred by a spate of controversial incidents that could have been swiftly resolved if goalline technology had been available. Did Andy Carroll score for Liverpool against Chelsea in the FA Cup Final? And was Juan Mata's strike for Chelsea in their semi-final win over Tottenham legitimate?
Such incidents could soon be a thing of the past after Fifa agreed to let the Football Association trial the 'Hawk-Eye' system in next month's friendly against Belgium at Wembley. In reporting the news, BBC Sport says independent testers will experiment with the system "but the match officials will have no access to data and the trial will have no impact on any contentious goalline decisions".
Rather, Fifa's independent appointed testing body - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) - will analyse the results in the following days to see if Hawk-Eye is a reliable and effective solution to contentious decisions.
There's no reason why it shouldn't be. A similar system has been in use for years in cricket and tennis and it's been a mystery why football has been so slow to embrace 21st century technology.
The BBC says six cameras will be installed in each Wembley goal in the next week and these will track the ball as it moves across the pitch.
Then, according to the BBC Boffins department, the Hawk-Eye system will "use 'triangulation' to pinpoint the exact location of the football. If the ball crosses the goalline then an encrypted radio signal is sent to the referee's wristwatch to indicate a goal has been scored".
Apparently the system was successfully trialled earlier this month in the Hampshire senior cup final with Hawk-Eye taking less than a second to complete its goalline analysis, which is in line with Fifa requirements. Providing all goes well at Wembley, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) is expected to officially sanction the use of goalline technology in football when it meets in July.
Finally, football will have caught up with the times.