Updated: 06/07/12 : 06:26:11
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World :: Soccer Goal-Line Technology Gets Approval

The use of goal-line technology to confirm whether or not a goal has been scored has been approved by soccer football's rulemakers.

Two systems, Hawk-Eye and GoalRef, were backed by the International Football Association Board (Ifab) at a meeting in Zurich after passing a series of scientific tests.

The decision clears the way for the technology to be used in matches at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and it could be introduced into the Premier League as soon as the new year.

The league is expected to adopt one of the systems during next season.

A ban on the use of the Islamic headscarf, or hijab, for Muslim women footballers has also been lifted by the lawmaking panel of world football's governing body, Fifa.

The garment had previously been banned due to safety concerns and because it was not recognised in the laws of the game.

Jerome Valcke, Fifa's general secretary, said they intended to bring goal-line technology in for the Club World Cup in Japan in December, next year's Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup.

He said: "We want to make sure that the systems at the World Cup work at 150%, not 90%."

Valcke said Fifa would pay for the systems - around 200,000 per stadium - and leave them in place in the stadiums.

Hawk-Eye is a British camera-based system already used by tennis and cricket.

It uses six or seven high-speed video cameras that can be installed at various points around the stadium all directed at the goal.

The cameras' pictures are then combined to calculate the ball's exact location and the decision is sent to the referee on a digital watch to say whether it is a goal.

GoalRef is a joint Danish-German system that uses magnetic fields to detect whether the ball has crossed the line.

Three magnetic strips are placed inside the outer lining of the ball, between the bladder and the outer casing, and when the ball crosses the line these are detected by sensors inside the goalposts and crossbar.

The sensors send out electronic waves which are disrupted when the ball crosses the line, and a computer then sends a message to the match officials' watch receivers in less than a second.

Two years after Sepp Blatter reversed his opposition to high-tech aids for referees, the Fifa president was a member of the panel which accepted test results proving that the systems quickly and accurately judge when balls cross the goal line.

Blatter has backed goal-line technology since England were denied a clear goal by midfielder Frank Lampard when losing to Germany at the 2010 World Cup.

He was in the stadium in Bloemfontein, South Africa, to see Lampard's shot clearly bounce down from the crossbar behind the German goal line. England were trailing 2-1 in the second-round match, and ultimately lost 4-1.

Last month, Blatter said it was a "necessity" after England benefited from another high-profile refereeing error, helping eliminate co-host Ukraine at the European Championship.

Blatter achieved his goal against the wishes of Uefa president Michel Platini, who opposes giving match officials any hi-tech aids.

Still, Platini's rival project which seeks to keep all technology out of decision-making also received support.

Uefa's proposal of a five-referees system to officiate matches - placing an additional assistant beside each goal - won Ifab approval after three years of trials in more than 1,000 matches.

Speaking after the goal-line technology was approved, FA general secretary Alex Horne told a news conference in Zurich it was "a hugely important day" for football.