FIFA Scores a Goal with Goal-Line Technology (GLT)

Jaime Salinas    October 30, 2017

Goal or No Goal!

One of the most prominent incidents in 2010 World Cup that precipitated the need for goal-line technology was a goal incident that happened between England and Germany match. When England and Germany were part of the second round match, Frank Lampard the English mid-fielder, kicked the ball towards the goal, and the ball bounced off the crossbar and bounced back out to the field of play. Video replay was the only means to check whether the ball crossed the goal line back in 2010. Video replay was only used by media, sports commentators and not used as a tool by referees to decide “on goal or no goal”.

Sepp Blatter FIFA President, after watching the game and replay from the stands he agreed that when the stakes are this high, justice outweighs tradition, germinating the idea of the need for Goal-Line Technology (GLT) especially for soccer World Cup events. Goal-Line Technology would remove any doubt about whether a goal has been scored.

Why do we need Goal-Line Technology (GLT)?

GLT is to support match officials in their decision making during a soccer match as the speed of the game and their position on the field of play may not allow them to make the proper call during games. The human eye can only handle approximately 16 images per second, so the ball will need to be behind the line for at least 60 milliseconds. In some cases the ball is only behind the line for a few milliseconds before a player kicks it back or it rebounds back into the field of play. When this happens the human eye cannot see whether the ball has crossed the line. The human eye can detect balls with a speed of 12km/h or less. Players these days are able to kick a ball with the speed over 120km/h – this would be undetected by the match officials.

 Goal-Line Technology was Approved

Goal-Line Technology (GLT) was approved for use in football by The International Football Association Board (The IFAB) in 2012. Referees no longer have to decide themselves whether the ball has crossed the line or not without technical assistance.

After 9 months of testing in England, Germany, Hungary and Italy, at a meeting in Zurich on 5 July, 2012 decided to introduce Goal-Line Technology into football.

Of the 8 companies that participated in the first round of tests, only 2 systems – Hawk-Eye and GoalRef – successfully completed the process and were approved to be used at the FIFA Club World Cup 2012.

 “Goal-Line Technology was successfully used during all 64 matches at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The camera-based system provided by GoalControl and tested according to the existing FIFA manual by Labosport made history by being the first to be implemented during the senior World Cup. Besides being decisive in the awarding of a goal during the match between France and Honduras, it assisted the match officials in making close calls on several further occasions.”

In order to watch the video, FIFA has granted permission via YouTube


Interview with René Dünkler on October 27, 2017, GoalRef – Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, Nürnberg, Germany

How GoalRef Goal-Line Technology Works

“The GoalRef goal-line technology meets all accuracy and reliability requirements. One advantage is that it is compact and easy to install. It comprises only three key types of components: goal frames, balls and referee watches. The Fraunhofer IIS system provides accurate information regardless of what is happening on the pitch. The system combines the emotions of football with exciting, cutting-edge technology. GoalRefs aim is to achieve a consistent basis for goal decisions at both national and international levels. Easy to install, GoalRef can be implemented on any football pitch anywhere in the world. All that is needed is a playing field and a power supply.

The system uses low-frequency magnetic fields. One field is created in the goal area, the other is created in and around the ball whenever it approaches the goal. This is achieved through magnetic induction, which in turn is made possible by a passive electronic circuit embedded in the ball. The interaction between the main field around the goal and the field induced around the ball is picked up by coils attached to the goal.

By measuring and analysing changes in the magnetic field around the goal, it is possible to determine whether the ball has completely crossed the line. The data is processed using software developed by Fraunhofer IIS, yielding a clear, accurate result that removes any doubt about whether a goal has been scored.

The result is wirelessly transmitted to the referee’s wristwatch, and a message is displayed in real time, coupled with a vibrating alert. The information is encrypted to prevent eavesdropping or tampering.

The Fraunhofer IIS system provides accurate information regardless of what is happening on the pitch. It detects whether a goal has been scored even if the ball is obscured by one or more players or the goalkeeper. GoalRef works reliably in any situation on the pitch in any weather and tells the referee immediately whether or not a goal has been scored.

The compact system consists only of three system components (ball, Goal and Wrist Watch) and don´t need any expensive installation in the stadium.”

Interview with Sal Marra, Provincial Soccer Referee in Ontario


  1. In your opinion as a Soccer Referee what do you view/see as the pros and cons of Goal-Line Technology (GLT)?

The positive thing that came out of this new rule is it took the doubt away from the assistant referees. The game became so quick that the AR’s were struggling to get into position. GLT allows the Referee to actually see a call that could have been missed due to being out of position. For a sport that doesn’t have a lot of goals every GLT could be the deciding factor.

For the negative aspect of the rule is that it takes the human part of this sport out of the equation. I still feel that a call should be made on the merit of the official good or bad. Sport should always be judged by the game officials reaction call.

In order to watch the video, FIFA has granted permission via YouTube

Lessons for Others

As a Match Official for several years I welcome Goal-Line Technology as it helps referees in improving / or making call decisions regarding Goal or No goal!. Some of the top FIFA referees such as Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson admitted that in the beginning he was a bit skeptical about ‘How would it work? Would it be reliable?’, but once he tried the new technology for the first time he felt that all the questions were answered as the information received from New Goal-Line Technology was quick, reliable and accurate, it could do what the human eye could not do detecting speeds over 12km/h. Some soccer players are able to kick the ball and achieve speeds of a 120km/h which is undetectable by the human eye.

Previous goals from World Cup events such as the game between England and Germany match in 2010 World Cup were not seen by match officials. Frank Lampard kicked the ball towards the goal, and the ball bounced off the crossbar and bounced back out to the field of play, was not considered a goal by match officials because it happened too quickly therefore not detected by the human eye. With the new Goal-Line Technology this will never happen again!.

On August 3, 2012 Goal-Line Technology has been amended to the Laws of the Game by FIFA – Law 10 – The Method of Scoring. Since the approval by the International Football Association Board (The IFAB) in 2012 , it has also been installed on four continents. This technology has improved match officials ability to make accurate and quick decisions regarding goals, and this technology also benefits fans and teams as they know the calls made by match officials are 100% accurate.

Goal-Line Technology (GLT) in Canada

Through my research on GLT I found out that Hawk-Eye was confirmed as the Goal-Line Technology Provider for Canada in 2015 for FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, in Edmonton on June 6, 2015.

This was the first time that GLT was featured in a women’s football event and followed the successful implementation of the technology at the FIFA World Cup, the FIFA Confederations Cup and three FIFA Club World Cups.

The decision came after a tender process announced in December 2014, when interested FIFA-licensed GLT providers were invited to join an inspection visit to each of the venues in Edmonton, Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Winnipeg. The closest Hawk-Eye Innovations office location to Canada is found in the USA at One Sony Drive, Park Ridge, NJ, 0756 USA and they can be contacted at Hawk-Eye Innovations USA

The FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 was the second FIFA event to feature Hawk-Eye after it was first used at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in 2012. Other GLT providers chosen by FIFA for previous tournaments include GoalControl GmbH and Fraunhofer IIS (GoalRef).

 In order to watch the video, FIFA has granted permission via YouTube

Industry: Soccer (aka Football)
Name of Organization Contact: Gianni Infantino FIFA President

Authored by: Jaime Salinas

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References – The International Football Association Board (IFAB) meeting makes three unanimous historic decisions on Goal-Line Technology, link:, retrieved October 27, 2017 from Video on Goal-Line Technology, retrieved October 27, 2017 from

FIFA TV Video on Goal-Line Technology “GoalRef” explained, retrieved October 27, 2017 from Video on Goal-Line Technology Implementation, retrieved October 27, 2017 from

Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits photo, retrieved October 27, 2017 with permission from Rene Dunkler, Copyright is Fraunhofer IIS/Kurt Fuchs

Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits Web-site GoalRef news release, retrieved October 27, 2017 from

Goal-Line Technology in Canada, FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ Link: