EPL ceo Richard Scudamore

(WFI) Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore explains why the EPL awarded Hawk-Eye the contract to provide goal-line technology at its 20 member clubs for next season.

The camera-based system will be installed during the summer ready for use on the opening weekend of the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season – Saturday 17 August. But its first outing in British football will be at August’s Community Shield. The Football Association will equip Wembley Stadium with the technology in time for the traditional curtain-raiser to the season.

The EPL’s clubs voted to adopt the British-based Hawk-Eye system at a meeting of their chairman on Thursday. It was little surprise the EPL chose Hawk-Eye over its rivals in the market; the league has worked with the company since 2006 under efforts to create a GLT system for football.

“The Premier League has been a long-time advocate of Goal-line Technology, and at times it didn’t look like it would be something we would be able to introduce. However, since FIFA took the decision to permit it we have been working hard to get a system in as soon as practically possible,” said Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore.

“Football is fundamentally a simple game; whichever side scores most goals wins. So, when one is scored, or indeed not scored, and we have the ability through technology to definitively know whether the ball crossed the line we should absolutely use it.

“Principally it is about getting it right. Fans, players and managers exhort, strain and stress respectively for their teams to score or prevent goals being scored, so we as administrators should do all that we can to ensure the correct decisions are being made.

“Of the four companies that are currently licensed by FIFA, Hawk-Eye stood out for their excellent track record in delivering for sport over many years.

“The fact it was a camera-based system was critical. Replays will be made available to all our host broadcasters and we are examining the feasibility of them being used on in-stadium big-screens. It is essential that fans see the system in action to know that it is working.”

The Hawk-Eye system informs the referee if the ball has crossed the goal line via a vibration and optical signal sent to his watch within one second.

On its website, Hawk-Eye says its accuracy level “betters the FIFA requirement of +/-3cm”.

Owing to its successful work in tennis and cricket, its football page adds: “Hawk-Eye is confident that the days of post-match retributions will soon be a thing of the past. The closest goal-line calls will be resolved in a matter of seconds.”

Paul Hawkins, inventor of Hawk-Eye, said he was delighted to be partnering with the Premier League. “We understand the responsibility that we have been given, and that the real challenge lies ahead in consistently delivering the technology that football deserves,” he said.

Last summer, the International Football Association Board approved Hawk-Eye and GoalRed for use in football. In recent months, two other GLT companies were licensed by FIFA – GoalControl and Cairos.

German company GoalControl last week won the FIFA contract to kit out the six Brazilian venues hosting the Confederations Cup this summer and the six additional venues that are hosting the 2014 World Cup.

By INSIDER’s Mark Bisson

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