Goal-line technology implementation

Goal-line technology has now been used in a number of FIFA tournaments. The implications and impacts of such systems can be complex, so it is important to think carefully before initiating a tender process.

Demonstration of Goal-line technology

Before the tender

Before you approach any providers, you need to define the scope, budget and timeline for your project. There are various possible scenarios, ranging from a centralised system organised and managed by a competition organiser down to a decentralised system in which each stadium is free to equip and administrate itself. These and other important questions must be answered before you go to tender.

Going to tender

Thanks to the FIFA Quality Programme for Goal-Line Technology, a list of approved systems and providers is available on FIFA.com/Quality. An invitation to tender, including all critical requirements, should be sent out to these providers. Your selection should then be based on which provider submits the offer most suitable for your needs.

For more information, please refer to the PDF document on recommendations for implementation in competitions.

Installation process

Installing goal-line technology

It will typically take around a week to install a system, longer if there are challenging conditions at the venue. During the installation phase, the provider may need access to the pitch, floodlighting and all technical areas of the stadium so it is essential that stadium management, technical staff and groundsmen are involved in the process from the very start.

Planning ahead

Taking the final installation test date as the deadline for a working system, planning should be done backwards to ensure that the installing company has enough time. In stadiums that are frequently used, the provider must have enough time to calibrate the system in real match conditions, which will require full pitch access with competition goals, competition lighting and official field markings.

Certification process

The FIFA QUALITY PRO certificate provides assurance that a system is fit for use in competitive matches. Under the Laws of the Game, any goal-line technology system used in such games must be certified in accordance with the FIFA Quality Programme.

The end result of repeated testing: the final installation test ensures that a system that was thoroughly tested during the system tests has been correctly set up to provide the same level of performance in the stadium in question.

Acceptance form: following receipt of a positive final installation test from the test institute, the provider obtains the signatures of the test institute and the competition organiser on a predefined acceptance form. This is then submitted to FIFA and if all is in order, the installation is certified.

FIFA QUALITY PRO: once FIFA has certified an installation, it can be used for official matches for 12 months and is listed on the FIFA website as a certified installation for that period. A retest is necessary once the certification expires.

  • Goal-line technology system test:
    • Laboratory tests
    • Field tests
    • Real game situations
  • Final installation test:
    • The final installation test checks that the system is functional and accurate. As such, it is a guarantee for both the client and the competition organiser that the system has been installed correctly.

Replays

Supporting the referee’s decision

The primary objective of goal-line technology is to assist the match officials. Keeping in mind that the referee always has the right to overrule the system, replays could be perceived as problematic if shown without the context of the referee’s decision.

Goal-line technology replays

At the 127th AGM in Edinburgh on 2 March 2013, The IFAB agreed that the decision on whether to allow replays of goal-line incidents for broadcast purposes and/or on stadium giant screens is to be made independently by individual competition organisers, who are best placed to assess the competition environment and the potential consequences that showing such replays may have.

Why use animated replays?

The system must be able to tell if a heavily obscured ball has entirely crossed the line. This is not guaranteed with video replays. An animation of the goal-line incident based on the data gathered by the system is the best way of showing whether the whole of the ball has crossed the line.