MLS moves toward goal-line technology
April, 20, 2012
By Zach McCann | ESPN.com
Other sports have utilized technology to ensure correct calls for years, from the ball-tracking system in tennis to instant replays in football and basketball.
AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris YoungThe MLS hopes to use technology to determine if a ball crosses the goal line.
Finally, it appears soccer -- the world’s most popular sport with the most passionate fans -- will use technology to determine if a goal is, indeed, a goal.
Major League Soccer hopes to implement goal-line technology as early as this season, if it’s approved in July by the sport’s rules-making body.
"We're interested in being a test league and we hope that we could achieve that," MLS commissioner Don Garber said Thursday, according to the Associated Press. "I would be open to whatever it is that could be done to ensure that we have goal-line technology."
The International Football Associated Board could approve the notion when it meets on July 2.
While soccer is called the world’s beautiful game because of its simplicity -- all you need is a ball and an open space to play -- this move is long overdue. There have been numerous disputed goals in recent memory, most notably in the 2010 World Cup, when an obvious England goal was disallowed against Germany, and in the FA Cup, when Chelsea scored an undeserving goal against Tottenham earlier this month.
FIFA has said in the past it didn’t want to eliminate the element of human error and continuity of the game. Continuity, I’ll concede -- both the NFL and NBA instant replays slow down the game. But human error? Is there a person in the world who would rather debate an incorrect call with their friends than see nonjudgment, goal-line calls be correct? And that's not to mention the millions of dollars on the line.
Technology has been pushed aside for tradition for far too long, and if the goal-line technology trial enjoys success in the MLS, it will hopefully go international in the near future. Perhaps even as soon as August for the start of the English Premier League.
The IFAB will look at Sony Corp.’s Hawk-Eye and GoalRef, owned by a German-Danish company. Hawk-Eye is a camera-based system used in tennis and cricket. GoalRef uses a magnetic field with a special ball. It’s possible both could be approved and utilized.
Each system sends a signal as the ball crosses the line to the referee, who makes the final decision.
"There's a lot more that we need to learn about it, understanding the process," Garber said. "The bottom line here is that I would be open to using goal-line technology as soon as it is made available."
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.