11/04/2013 14:00

Hawkeye's system is finally over the line



Frank Lampard shoots passed Manuel Neuer (© PA)

The goal that would have levelled things with Germany

Former referee Dermot Gallagher gives his thoughts on the announcement that Hawkeye's goal line technology will be used in the Premier League next season

From a referee's point of view, to all the Premier League chairmen a massive thank you - finally we will see matches played at the top level in this country using goal line technology.

Enough has been written in the past about the subject but now we can look forward to a brand new and exciting era for football.

Frank Lampard's unseen goal in Bloemfontein without doubt appears to have been the tipping point with Sepp Blatter changing his view.

Following its successful trial in the World Club Championships in Japan Fifa decided to be use for the upcoming Confederations Cup and ultimately Brazil 2014 .

It gives a vibrating alert to the referee's watch within one second and is measured within a millimetre of accuracy

However, following today's decision the Premier League will showcase the Hawkeye system from August and Wembley stadium will have the same in time for the Community Shield.

It made sense to me to go for the Hawkeye system - it gives a vibrating alert to the referee's watch within one second and is measured within a millimetre of accuracy.

On top of that the system allows for immediate picture portrayal for broadcasters currently used in tennis and cricket which would obviously appeal to viewers.

I wonder whether, as it is a statement of fact and no longer contentious, whether the same pictures could be transmitted to the big screens in grounds so match spectators could also see the images.

No longer will the referee be at risk of seeing a still picture of a ball over the line on the back page of a newspaper the next day, with blame pointed at him and his assistants. I know from bitter experience how that feels after not seeing Tommy Black's shot cross the line in an FA Cup tie between Crystal Palace and Leeds.

Ten years on I can tell you it would not be an experience I would wish on myself or any of my colleagues ever again.

I fully realise there are still critics of the system for varying reasons including Michel Platini being against it at Champions League level.

However, I disagree with Platini’s arguments…

It's not a level playing field - Well we already have similar in other sports. In my village we play tennis and cricket without Hawkeye but that doesn't prohibit Andy Murray and Kevin Pietersen having the luxury.

It will interrupt the flow of the game - Not true. One second would elapse and as with the Reading appeal last week when two thirds of the ball was over the line there would be no signal, no ref's whistle, no argument.

Cost - £200,000 - I feel that's like any insurance policy. You pay your premiums but never hope to claim. In reality how can you quantify the amount of being relegated? Everton's Terry Phelan cleared the ball after it had clearly crossed the line against Bolton and the game finished 0-0. At the end of the season, Everton avoided relegation, at Bolton's expense, by one point.

The alternative system was used sensors which were triggered by the ball itself - this did not appeal to me

I make no bones about it - I am very much in favour of GLT and even more pleased its Hawkeye that has been chosen.

I saw it in it's embryonic stage at Reading's Hogwood training ground. It impressed me then and it has obviously made a massive impression on the Premier League or they wouldn't have voted for it.

Hawkeye is a system of seven cameras which relays the information. The alternative system, not chosen, used sensors which was triggered by the ball itself. I'm not a scientist but this did not appeal to me.

The alternative obviously worked or it couldn't possibly have got so far in the race but it didn't have the same advantage of pictorial images for broadcasters which was, for me, a massive plus point.

Hawkeye's system has taken many years of planning, but thanks to Thursday's vote, is finally over the line!

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