The makers of Hawkeye have entered into some sort of an agreement with the EPL to develop a system to ascertain whether a ball has crossed the goal-line or not.
While some level of technology might be helpful for these situations I don’t think Hawkeye is the answer:
- It’s owned by a commercial organisation - it’s a product and therefore part of the rulings on the game are being outsourced to a profit-seeking company.
- It’s nowhere near instantaneous enough to be used. It works in cricket because there’s a stoppage between every ball. Cricket is a little more awkward but with the volume of points it’s handy enough to have the odd point replayed. In soccer you can’t just stop the game and wait for Hawkeye to make up its mind.
- It was clearly wrong in Wimbledon yesterday when a Nadal shot was long and Hawkeye said it was in. Infuriating for Federer who had clearly seen the ball miss the line but you can’t overrule technology.
- It has been wrong plenty of times in cricket
Premier League in Hawk-Eye trials
The Premier League is to test a Hawk-Eye system, which will determine if a ball crosses the goal-line or not, with a view to using it in matches.
Paul Hawkins invented a system that is used for key decisions in tennis and the ball-tracking device will be tried out at Reading’s academy.
Hawkins told BBC Five Live Sport: "We have a contract with the Premier League to develop a system.
"It is purely for the referees and not for television.
He added: "The process is to be evaluated firstly by the Premier League and then Fifa.
“If we jump those hurdles then there will be a slow role of trialling it in matches and, hopefully, with the end game of it being in all the Premier League grounds.”
It took a couple of years in tennis from the start of tests to it being used and we can probably expect the same timeframe (for football)
Hawk-Eye can currently be seen in action at Wimbledon, where it is being used to judge if a ball is in or out.
The system is also used in cricket as a commentary aid to determine if a delivery would have hit the stumps in lbw decisions, but this is not available for umpires to call upon.
Hawkins expects football to adopt his invention in two years’ time, if the testing process proves successful.
He added: "It will be tested next month and the process will evolve from there.
“It took a couple of years in tennis from the start of tests to it being used and we can probably expect the same timeframe.”
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) gave the go-ahead for the development of goal-line technology in March after a Premier League presentation.
But the IFAB ruled that the technology could only be used for goal-line decisions and it would have to be 100% accurate, be instantaneous and only be available to officials.