English Premier League eyes HawkEye for replays

By Kevin
Hilton

SVG Europe correspondent

The HawkEye object tracking system is already established in tennis and

cricket, not just for television coverage but also for giving players the

opportunity to challenge umpiring decisions. Now tests are being carried out

in football, a sport whose organizing bodies have steadfastly rejected the

notion of any video assistance for referees.

The English Premier League is to hold tests during the summer, some of which

will be observed by representatives from FIFA, the game’s international

governing body. From this the League hopes to gain permission to progress to

the next phase of the project, the use of HawkEye to help judge whether the

ball has crossed the goal line. These further trials will be held at the

training

academy
of
Premiership club
Reading or during its reserve games.

A spokesman for the Premier League said that if FIFA did not give the

go-ahead then tests might be carried out during unofficial fixtures. If

approval is given then HawkEye will be used for all

Reading’s first team

games of the 2008-09 season. “This is all subject to the technology
meeting

our and FIFA’s testing criteria,” said the spokesman.

Unlike tennis and cricket the use of HawkEye in football will be solely for

the use of referees and not for TV coverage. Paul Hawkins, the inventor of

the system, has been quoted as saying he thinks the technology will be in

general use for Premiership games in at least two years time.