The Introduction of Goal-Line Technology as a Strategic Change in Football

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1/17/2010|
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Executive Summary

This report discusses the introduction of goal-line technology as a strategic change to the game of football and the likely impacts on the organisations associated. Football has become a global business and is one of the few industries which has grown during the current financial crisis, with larger television deals and transfer fees than ever before. This report summarises two leading goal-line systems available before discussing the potential benefits and challenges of implementing the technology. The focus then turns to the impact such a change will have on the game’s stakeholders before finally drawing conclusions on how the implementation could be managed and whether the systems should be adopted. Introduction

Goal-line technology is a proposed technology which is able to determine when the ball has crossed the goal-line, therefore indicating when a goal has been scored or not. Over the past ten years there has been great debate about whether this type of technology should be introduced to the game, however so far the concept has been rejected by FIFA, football’s world governing body. There are currently two leading systems which could be implemented and these will be explained in depth further on in the report. In 2010 the International Football Association Board (IFAB) agreed to re-examine goal line technology. It stipulated that any goal-line system must be accurate and the indication of whether a goal has been scored must be immediate and confirmed to the match officials only, within 1 second of the incident (FIFA, 2010).

In recent years calls to introduce goal-line technology have intensified as a result of a number of high profile refereeing errors. A recent survey of 48 captains in the Europa League by international players union, FIFpro, found that 90% of respondents said they wanted goal-line technology introduced (CNN, 2010). In the modern game, where there are huge amounts of money at stake, and given the current economic climate, every decision is vital. There are plenty of arguments against the introduction of goal line technology and these will be discussed along with any potential advantages. Goal-Line Systems Available

* Hawk-Eye System

This system uses six cameras in the stands at either end of the field to track the position of the ball. The images are processed by a bank of computers in real time and the data is sent to a central computer, which combines all the information to determine whether or not the ball has crossed the line. If the ball has crossed the line then the central computer will transmit an automatic signal directly to the referee, such information could be communicated to a watch or an ear piece (Hawk-Eye, 2010). The Hawk-Eye system utilises cameras that can operate at up to 500 frames per second compared to standard broadcast cameras that operate at around 25 frames per second, which means that Hawk-Eye is able to detect if the ball crossed the goal-line for only a fraction of a second. The system compensates for the eventuality that players will obstruct the view of the ball (D’Orazio, Guaragnella, Leo and Distante, 2010) by using six cameras from different angles and Hawk-Eye is able to locate the ball accurately when only 25% of the ball is visible. The cost of implementing the system at one stadium would be around £250,000. * Cairos GLT System

The Cairos system has been jointly proposed by football manufacturer and leading sportswear designer Adidas and Cairos Technologies AG. The system consists of thin cables installed underneath the penalty area and behind the goal-line. Electrical currents passed through the cables generate magnetic fields which are picked up by sensors in the ball when in the goal area. A transmitter inside the ball sends the data about the ball’s location to a couple of...
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