Fifa set to introduce goal-line tech
Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke says he expects goal-line technology to be used in the English Premier League "sooner or later", as football's world body prepares to trial two systems in Japan.
Hawk-Eye and GoalRef will feature at the eight-game Club World Cup, which starts Thursday and features continental champions – including Chelsea and Brazil's Corinthians – battling to be crowned the best team on the planet.
Speaking ahead of the opening match in Yokohama, Valcke said the high financial stakes involved in England's top flight meant goal-line technology would ultimately be introduced into one of the world's most profitable leagues.
He said it was costing Fifa $1 million to run the two systems in Japan, adding that high installation costs would mean the technology was out of reach for smaller leagues initially but over time would become more affordable.
"At the moment it's a luxury cost. That's why you'll see it mainly in high-level competitions," Valcke told a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday.
"I don't think that for the time being you will see this goal-line technology system used in minor leagues.
"But I could expect or could imagine that the English Premier League and such leagues where the result is important, where there is so much interest, money, financial implication, you will see sooner or later a goal-line system in place."
Fans have called for years for football to embrace technology aimed at eliminating human error, citing its use in other sports including tennis and cricket.
In July, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) –custodians of the game's laws – decided to use goal-line technology at the Club World Cup, next year's Confederations Cup and the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.
Individual associations and domestic leagues still have the right to decide whether they use the technology in their competitions.
Fifa has given licences to Britain-based but Sony-owned Hawk-Eye and Germany's GoalRef.
The Hawk-Eye system uses between six and eight cameras while GoalRef uses magnetic fields to determine whether a ball has crossed the line. Both systems transmit their findings to devices that can be worn on officials' wrists.
Goal-line technology will be used for the first time ever in a match when J-League winners Sanfrecce Hiroshima take on Oceania champions Auckland City in the quarterfinal play-off match on Thursday.