Implementation of the goal line technology in football


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Implementation of the goal line technology in football

  1. 1. Clément Richet Eksamens nr: 311618Synopsis of Innovation Management:Implementation of the goal-line technology in football
  2. 2. IntroductionThe Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in 1904 and is theinternational governing body for Association Football, responsible for football governance andorganising many competitions, including the FIFA World Cup and the FIFA Confederations Cup. Theorganization generated $1.7bn revenue in 20111and is recognized as a major influence within theglobal sporting economy. However, many recent campaigns have drawn attention to the fact that theglobal governing body of football still refuses to implement technology within the rules of the sport,in order to aid match officials to make correct decisions during the course of a match. Recently,particular attention has been brought on the issue of goal-line technology, which would help anofficial determine whether or not the football has crossed to goal line, leading to the phenomenon ofthe ‘ghost goal’. Following the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa, and a series of debatabledecisions made by the match officials, FIFA were urged to find a solution. After two years of researchand rigorous tests, two systems have been developed; “GoalRef” and “Hawk-Eye” and the two havebeen granted licenses to develop goal-line technology. This paper aims to explain how FIFA broughtinnovation to football through implementation of video technology on the goal-line. The first sectionof the paper will look at the historical events that have led the pressure on FIFA to adapt the rules offootball to implement modern technology, and indeed the creation of those tools. Secondly, thepaper will examine the process of innovation carried out by FIFA and the implementation of“GoalRef” and “Hawk-Eye”. Finally, the synopsis will focus on the passionate debate between themerits of using modern technology in order to improve the standards of modern refereeing, and thepossible damage to the integrity of the sport and the loss of its universality.Controversies and scandals, a need for technologyGoal, or no goal, that is the question. Every football fan has memories and recollections of gameswhere this situation occurred; did the ball cross the line? In most cases no one is sure of the answer,even after watching a replay. The next paragraph will examine three short examples of incidentsinvolving the England national football team where “ghost goal” situations have occurred. The 1966FIFA World Cup Final at Wembley Stadium was contested between England and West Germany, andproduced one of the most famous and controversial goals in football history. The score was 2-2 inextra time when the England striker Geoff Hurst struck a shot toward the German goal; the ballsmacked against the underside of the crossbar, rebounded down and bounced back out. Afterconsulting with his assistant, Swiss referee Gottfried Dienst awarded the goal. England went on towin 4-2 but the controversy has never been satisfactorily resolved due to the positioning of thetelevision cameras; there were no clear cameras on the goal line to determine whether the ball hadindeed crossed the line or not. In one of history’s great ironies, a similar incident happened duringthe 2012 FIFA World Cup. In the quarter-final facing England against Germany, England midfielderFrank Lampard struck a shot that hit the crossbar, which then landed visibly over the goal-line beforebouncing clear. The referee and assistant referees decided not award the goal. Had this goal stood, 1Goal-directed Video Metrology, Ian Reid and Andrew Zisserman, PDF file
  3. 3. the scores would have been levelled at 2-2. German journalists named this ghost goal as “revenge forWembley” in memory of the goal unfairly awarded to England forty-four years earlier. The lastexample is very recent. On the 19thof June 2012, the final match day of the group stage of 2012UEFA European Championships in a match between England against Ukraine. The ‘ghost goal’ scoredby the Ukraine striker Marko Devic – under the eyes of the UEFA sanctioned fifth official standingbehind the goal – as England defender John Terry cleared the ball from behind his own goal-line.Nevertheless Ukraine has been denied a legitimate goal. After this last incident, FIFA president SeppBlatter called the use of technology “a necessity”.2Implementation of the goal-line technologyIn March 2010, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), responsible for establishing thelaws of the game voted against the use of the video technology in football. A few months later,following a large number of highly publicised controversial errors made by the referees at the 2010FIFA World Cup in South Africa (cf Lampard), FIFA agreed to revisit the issue. Jerome Valcke, FIFAGeneral Secretary, declared himself in favor of the use of video technology in football: “I would saythat it is the final World Cup with the current refereeing system. The game is so fast; the ball is flyingso quickly, we have to help them [the referees].” On the 20thof October 2010, during its AnnualBusiness Meeting, the IFAB agreed to re-open the discussions concerning goal-line technology andcrafted the principal characteristics of the future system. It would only be applied to the goal-line andbe used to determine whether a goal has been scored or not. The indication of whether a goal hasbeen scored would have to be confirmed by the referee within one second and only communicatedto the match officials, rather than to a television audience. A deadline was set up to the end ofNovember 2010 for companies to present their technologies to FIFA. The deadline was extended toJuly 2011 because none of the proposed technology was deemed to have successfully met thecriteria set out by the IFAB. During the summer of 2011, FIFA selected the nine companies that metthe requirements to have a first testing phase from September to December 2011. Each system hasbeen scrutinized and analysed using pass or fail criteria that included a goal indication to thereferee’s watch and a static and dynamic accuracy test of greater than 90%. The results of this firstphase of tests were presented during the IFAB meeting in March 2012. FIFA established a shortlist ofcompanies that could proceed to a second testing phase from March to June 2012. Only twotechnologies were approved; the Hawk-Eye system, already implemented in international tennis andcricket tournaments, which uses optical recognition with cameras to track the ball and predict theflight path and GoalRef using a magnetic field with a microchip integrated into the ball to identify agoal situation. The aim of this second phase of testing was to assess the reliability and accuracy ofboth systems through the use of four different elements: field tests (numerous shot tests in astadium), training sessions (simulated scenarios on a field), laboratory tests and live professionalmatches (where the technology was monitored by the experts so the referees did not had access toit). On the 5thof July 2012, the IFAB took the historical decision of approving the introduction of goal-line technology in football. The two systems, Hawk-Eye and GoalRef, after successfully completingthe different tests started in August 2011, were able to apply to become FIFA goal-line technology2“Sepp Blatter confident of positive goal-line technology vote” BBC News. 20 June 2012.
  4. 4. licensees. After signing the contracts with FIFA, the manufacturers have the official authorization tosell and install their technology to whoever requests it (Football Federations, leagues orcompetitions). The first official use of the goal-line technology was set up at the 2012 FIFA ClubWorld Cup in Japan. The tournament played from the 6th to the 12th of December 2012 broughttogether the champion clubs from each of the six continental confederations of the current year. The2012 tournament was won by Copa Libertadores de América champions Sport Club CorinthiansPaulista from São Paulo, Brazil. The final objective is to implement one of the two technologies at the2014 FIFA World Cup, hosted by Brazil. Some leagues have already declared their interest for usingthe goal-line technology. Alex Horne, the general secretary of the The Football Association (FA), thegoverning body of football in England, raised the possibility of implementing it in the Premier League(the top tier of English football) as early as January 2013. However the delay needed for licensing thetwo systems and installing it in the stadiums makes it impossible. However, the FA is confident thateverything will be ready at the start of the 2013-2014 season. The strategy of innovation undertakenby FIFA can be classified as the Rocket model. The first phase was to search what could be the idealtechnology to assist the referees, and then the second phase was the selection of the viable systems(Hawk-Eye and GoalRef), the third was the implementation at the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup in Japanand finally in the future months FIFA hopes to capture the benefits from this innovation byeliminating the “ghost goals”.Goal-line Technology: a game changer for better or worse?Despite being continuously requested by players, managers and fans, FIFA waited July 2012 forimplementing the goal-line technology (GLT). At the beginning of 2010, FIFA President Sepp Blatterwas outlining the mains reasons why the technology could not be used in football3. In the point ofview of Mr Blatter, it would create issues with the nature of the game. This argument remains usedby the opponents to the GLT. The universality of football means that the same game at whateverlevel is played with the same rules. The use of goal-line technology at the top level only wouldundermine it. We can imagine that if the system is effective, the top professional leagues in Europewill be all expected to bring in the technology. But the implementation of such a system is very costly(estimated at about £250,000 for Hawk-Eye and £150,000 for GoalRef4). Therefore we canlegitimately wonder if it is fair that the lower divisions in the professional leagues will not be able tobeneficiate from it. Secondly, there is the suggestion that goal-line technology would ruin the flow ofthe game. Unlike others sports (Tennis) where the video is used; football does not constantly stop forpauses and should be interrupted as little as possible. But with the use of GLT, the referee wouldhave to stop the game for a decision that breaks the run of play. Concerning this argument, FIFAguaranteed that the referee would be able to take a decision within a second following thecontroversial action. Thirdly, what if a goal is awarded using the GLT but the player who scores isoffside? In this scenario, a combination of human error (offside) and goal-line technology would leadto an unfair decision. This situation could create more controversy. Why not going back to thebeginning of the entire play and search for any transgressions of the law? Finally, the last argumentagainst the use of goal-line technology is the possibility that if the technology is introduced, it would3Blatter Sepp. 2010. “FIFA’s position on technology in football”. March 11 2010.4Goal-line technology battle goes to shoot-out., Will Smale, 28 November 2012.
  5. 5. “open the door” to calls for other video technologies, about offside and penalty situations forexample, these decisions having also a high effect on the outcome of a match.There is one main argument in favor of goal-line technology: justice. As we have seen in the first partof the summary, there are tons of examples where teams have wrongly lost matches because thereferees were given goals that did not cross the line or disallowed goals that should have beenawarded. If the goal technology can ensure correct decisions from the referees, then it should beimplemented. Also, GLT has a major support of the football players. In 2010, 90% of the captains ofteams playing the Europa league claimed they wanted goal-line technology to be introduced.5Moregenerally, people playing, watching and managing football are asking for GLT. Also the testsorganized by the FIFA since two years are showing that the two systems Hawk-Eye and GoalRef areworking perfectly. Finally a lot of sports already took the turn of the technology to assist the referee(Tennis, Rugby). The controversy and continuity in these sports has been less important than theclarity the technology provided so we can conclude that the goal-line technology would be a hugebenefit for the football.5Goal line technology -
  6. 6. ConclusionThe primary aim of this summary about innovation management was to analyse the implementationof the goal-line technology in football. Following pressure to resolve the unsatisfactory state ofmodern football, and in order to prevent the “ghost goal” from occurring, FIFA undertook theprocess of radical innovation by creating a process to integrate GLT within global football. Thedecision by the IFAB to approve research into video technology started a revolution; and it was onlyuntil the very latest and best technology was developed that the systems were installed in thestadiums across the world. However, FIFA have already protected themselves against possibleproblems or future failures by taking out large insurance policies with the technology firms. Finally,even if GoalRef and Hawk-Eye were the only licensed manufacturers, other competitors may stillhave their systems approved by FIFA in the future, which will drive down pricing and make theproduct more universally available. Finally, the question of which company will triumph in the goal-line marketplace could ultimately become as controversial as the issue of “ghost goals”, as thefinancial rewards will be significant.
  7. 7. References Financial report 2011, 62nd FIFA Goal-directed Video Metrology, Ian Reid and Andrew Zisserman Top 10 ghost goals. Skysports,25722,15881_7595564,00.html World Cup 2010: Fifa evades technology questions. BBC News. 28 June 2010 Euro 2012: Uefa admits Ukraine were deprived of a goal against England. The Guardian. 20June 2012 Sepp Blatter confident of positive goal-line technology vote. BBC News. 20 June 2012 Goal-line technology – Getting it right. WIPO magazine. August 2010 IFAB agrees to re-examine goal-line technology. October 2010 IFAB extends Goal Line Technology testing. March 2011 Goal-line technology testing process continues. May 2011 Fifa to run tests on nine goal-line technology systems this autumn. July 2011 IFAB approve two companies for next phase of GLT tests March 2012 Second GLT test phase details confirmed. April 2012 IFAB Approval of Goal-line Technology Hailed as "Momentous Day" July 2012
  8. 8.  2012 FIFA Club World Cup gets underway on Thursday. December 2012 FIFA Club World Cup: GLT project agreements. November 2012 Goal-line technology moves closer after Fifa authorises two systems. October 2012 Blatter, Sepp. 2010. “FIFA’s position on technology in football”. In March 11 2010. Goal-line technology would harm football. Neville Darangwa, September 2012. Use of goal line technology in football is overdue, and can only lead to benefits. Debatewise.org Goal line technology - a game changer for better or worse?