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England ready to jump aboard

Goal-line technology set to be introduced into English football as early as the new year after two systems were approved by the game's law-makers in a "momentous" decision in Zurich.

sports Updated: Jul 06, 2012 23:51 IST

Goal-line technology set to be introduced into English football as early as the new year after two systems were approved by the game's law-makers in a "momentous" decision in Zurich.

The Premier League will enter into talks with Hawk-Eye and GoalRef, the two manufacturers of the systems, about bringing the technology in as soon as midway through the season and it could also be used for the coming season's FA Cup semi-finals and final. It follows a unanimous decision by the International FA Board.

The FA general secretary, Alex Horne, said the Hawk-Eye system installed at Wembley for a trial last month is still there – and could be switched on, tested and licensed for FA Cup and perhaps England matches at Wembley. Horne said: "It is perfectly possible to introduce it halfway through the season. We have already got Hawk-Eye at Wembley. It needs to be calibrated and [we need to] make sure it's working properly and licensed, so we are nearly there and we could turn Hawk-Eye on quite quickly.

"The FA Cup would be our decision and we could say for the semi-finals and finals of the FA Cup we could turn it on. I don't think that is a very controversial decision. England is harder because we are part of someone else's competition, so we would need Fifa to agree that we could use that in the qualification campaign. We need to go back and talk to the Premier League, everything I hear is that they want it. We might as well agree which one we want to buy and then nail a deal together."

Fifa's president, Sepp Blatter, admitted he had changed his mind about goalline technology after Frank Lampard's disallowed goal for England against Germany in the 2010 World Cup. The issue was highlighted again when Ukraine were denied a goal against England in Euro 2012 despite the ball having clearly crossed the line.

Blatter said: "For me as Fifa president it became evident the moment what happened in South Africa in 2010. I have to say 'thank you, Lampard'. I was completely down in South Africa when I saw that it shocked me, it took me a day to react. It happened again in Ukraine, and Ukraine can still not believe it now."

Blatter insisted, however, that there would be no move to introduce any video replays or other technology to rule on decisions such as offsides, fouls or diving. He said: "Other than the goalline technology, football must preserve its human face."

Horne added: "Goalline technology is where this starts and finishes for us. None of us think technology interfering with the free-flowing nature of football is good for the game.”