The FA has hailed an historic day for football after a decision was taken to introduce Goal-line Technology at FIFA headquarters in Zurich.
FA Chairman David Bernstein and General Secretary Alex Horne travelled to the Swiss city to vote in favour of GLT at the International Football Association Board special meeting on Thursday afternoon.
The FA has long been a leading proponent of Goal-line Technology to aid referees after a number of controversial incidents in recent years. At the 2010 FIFA World Cup, for example, a Frank Lampard ‘goal’ in England’s 4-1 quarter-final defeat by Germany, which would have taken the score to 2-2, was not awarded despite TV replays suggesting the whole of the ball had crossed the line.
During Thursday’s meeting, independent body EMPA gave a detailed presentation on the successful second phase of testing for the Hawk-Eye and GoalRef systems that took place between March and June. The IFAB members – made up of the four home nation football associations and FIFA, led by President Sepp Blatter – then agreed unanimously on its introduction, with both systems given the green light.
England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each have one IFAB vote, while FIFA has four votes. At least six votes of the eight were needed for the introduction of GLT to be approved. The decision means domestic leagues, cup competitions and international matches could all introduce goal-line technology in future, although only the referee will have access to the instant information.
Alex Horne said: "It is a hugely important day. It is a cause we have had on our agenda for a number of years."
FA Referees’ Committee chairman David Elleray and Neale Barry, who sits on the IFAB technical sub-committee and is The FA’s Head of Senior Referee Development, also took part in the meeting.
The first phase of independent testing had previously been discussed at the IFAB annual general meeting hosted by The FA at Pennyhill Park, Surrey in March. At that meeting, it was agreed that tests would continue to the second phase with The FA sanctioning live tests at Wembley Stadium for England’s 1-0 victory against Belgium last month and also at St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton in May.
A FIFA spokesman said: "We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to The Football Association for their willingness to support the live match tests, a critical part of Test Phase 2 for Goal-line technology."
Several other matters were also up for discussion by the global game’s law-making body at the IFAB meeting. These included the subject of additional assistant referees, as seen again at UEFA Euro 2012, and the wearing of headscarves by female players, which have also both been approved.
A review of specific Laws of the Game and an initial discussion regarding the future composition of the IFAB also took place during Thursday’s meeting.
Click here to read the full FIFA press release regarding the implementation of the IFAB decisions
IFAB have unanimously voted in favour of goal-line technology being introduced into the game.