Goal line technology gets extension

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The International Football Association Board (IFAB) marked its 125th anniversary by revealing that the testing of goal line technology will be extended by one year.

Following an opening address by the Football Association of Wales president, Phil Pritchard, in Newport, Wales in early March 2011, FIFA president Joseph S Blatter announced that none of the 10 companies which had been invited to test their technology in February 2011 had so far been successful in meeting the criteria set out by the IFAB Annual Business Meeting on 20 October 2010. The board therefore agreed to a one–year extension of goal line technology tests. According to Jerome Valcke, FIFA's secretary general, only two companies have come close to meeting FIFAs standards in relation to the technology. Valcke said: " Even as an empty goal, just throwing the ball through to the goal, only two companies reached 98% and 94%. There's not one company who has reached 100%. It means that either it's a technical problem, or it's not good enough to be used for a 90–minute game. That's where we have to be very careful. " FIFA however is calling for 100% accuracy. Meanwhile, Hawk–eye Innovations, the ball–tracking technology system used successfully in cricket, snooker and tennis, has been sold to Sony for an undisclosed sum reported in some quarters as around £20m. The system has become a staple feature in nailbiting decisions in the aforementioned sports and in the year ending September 2009 made a pre–tax profit of £1. 1m. Significantly, Sony is a key commercial partner of FIFA, and although Hawk–eye was not one of the initial 10 companies vying to produce goal line technology for football's governing body, its new ownership might see it fast tracked onto a new list.

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