Skip to main content

World football enters technological era

December 8, 2012 -- Updated 0036 GMT (0836 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • FIFA uses goal-line technology at Club World Cup opener in Japan
  • Two competing systems are being trialed at the global championships
  • GoalRef, which uses a magnetic field system, and camera-based Hawk Eye are the systems
  • On the pitch, Sanfrecce Hiroshima reach quarterfinals with defeat of Auckland City

(CNN) -- Football history was made at the opening match of FIFA's Club World Cup in Japan on Thursday when goal-line technology (GLT) was made available to a referee for the first time.

Host side Sanfrecce Hiroshima beat New Zealand's Auckland City 1-0 to earn a quarterfinal clash with African champions Al Ahly of Egypt, but the result will remain a footnote to FIFA's "revolution".

Despite resisting calls for the introduction of GLT for many years, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke stated that there was "no reason to be against this technology" on the eve of the match.

The first referee to have access to the system in a competitive game was Djamel Haimoudi but the Algerian had no need to call upon GoalRef's magnetic field system in Yokohama.

Read: The lonely death of Diego Mendieta

This is the first of two goal-line systems being trialed at the competition for the continental club champions, in which the title-holders of the host nation (J-League winners Sanfrecce Hiroshima on this occasion) also participate.

Goal-line technology approved by FIFA
Billionaire saves Spanish football team
A day in the life of Cristiano Ronaldo

Hiroshima, who won the Japanese championship for the first time last month to earn their place in football history, will also take part as the second system is used, with camera-based Hawk-Eye being used for Sunday's tie with the seven-time African champions.

"This is a kind of revolution," Valcke told FIFA's website before the match. "It is the first time that this kind of technology is coming into football. We must ensure that when the ball goes into the goal, the referee must get the information that the ball has gone in.

"The referee has the final decision. The technology won't change the speed, value or spirit of the game."

It changed little as Hiroshima saw off Auckland City, thanks to a stunning strike from Toshihiro Aoyama after 66 minutes, as the New Zealanders' impressive goalkeeper Tamati Williams was finally beaten.

However, it has added a further element to the referee's pre-match ritual with officials now needing to test the system 90 minutes before every match to determine whether the technology is working as expected.

After FIFA had seemingly abandoned GLT in 2008 after freezing experiments into the practice, and preferring instead to look at using additional referees, the issue was reborn at the 2010 World Cup.

After a Frank Lampard shot crossed the line but was not given as England lost to Germany in the Round of 16, FIFA chief Sepp Blatter backtracked on his previous belief that there was no room for goal-line technology in football.

After a long testing process, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) voted in July to use GLT at the ongoing Club World Cup, as well as the 2013 Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"This is also an important day for us," Valcke had said on Wednesday. "Because we will use one of the two systems we are using here in the Fifa Confederations Cup next year."

Both Britain-based Hawk-Eye and Germany's GoalRef transmit their findings to devices that can be worn on officials' wrists.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1229 GMT (2029 HKT)
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT)
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT)
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
ADVERTISEMENT