Goal-line technology represents the continued modernization of worldwide soccer leagues. Following the widespread use of VAR, top leagues and competitions adopted the use of goal-line technology. However, it is much less consistent across the world than VAR.
The technology uses high-speed cameras in the stadium to create a three-dimensional graphic of the ball. From there, it is easily recognizable whether a ball crosses the line.
That is the only question goal-line technology answers. The speed of the game and the ability of the players on the pitch can lead to millimeters of difference. Also, referees may not have the best view of whether a ball crosses the line. There have been several instances of balls entering the net. However, the referee could not make the distinction of the ball crossing the line.
For example, Germany defeated England in the knockout stages of the 2010 World Cup. Frank Lampard thought he scored an equalizing goal in the first half, but the referee waved off the ball. Upon video replay, the ball hit the crossbar, bounced into the goal then hit the crossbar on its way out. The goal did not stand, and England never caught up to Germany. That moment played a major role in former FIFA President Sepp Blatter embracing technology in the game.
Leagues and competitions that use goal-line technology
Goal-line technology is a luxury of the wealthy leagues. As we will see, several leagues turned goal-line technology down citing cost as the top reason. However, with how much money Europe’s top leagues generate, the correct decision is necessary. Here are those tournaments and leagues that use goal-line technology.
The Premier League
The most popular domestic league in the world started using the technology in the 2013/14 season. Edin Dzeko was the first to score a goal that goal-line technology awarded. However, it has not been perfect. Sheffield United deserved to win a game against Aston Villa. However, goal-line technology did not give the Blades a goal. Aston Villa wound up being safe in the Premier League by one point that season.
The French and German top flights approved goal-line technology to start use in the 2015/16 campaign. As these four leagues are widely considered the top five leagues in the world with the Premier League, it is no surprise to see them incorporate the expensive technology.
The Championship and Serie B
England and Italy are the only two countries to extend goal-line technology into the second division. While Serie B started use in 2021, the Championship debuted goal-line technology in all games in the 2017/18 season.
The Dutch top flight is the last domestic league to use the technology. Therefore, only domestic leagues in Europe use it.
FA Cup, Scottish Cup and Coppa Italia
Cup competitions in England use the technology where applicable. In other words, if a tie is at a Premier League or Championship club’s venue, goal-line technology is in use. The Coppa Italia only uses goal-line technology in the round of 16 onwards, while the Scottish Cup only has it for the semifinals and Final.
UEFA club competitions
UEFA requires clubs competing in the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League to have goal-line technology in effect. In the women’s game, it is optional for teams to use goal-line technology.
The World Cup (men’s and Women’s)
In response to Lampard’s disallowed goal, FIFA mended those issues by bringing goal-line technology to the next World Cup in 2014. On the women’s side, fans of the United States will rue its inclusion. At the 2023 Women’s World Cup, the narrowest of margins allowed Sweden to advance on penalties.
With varying degrees of funding, different international events have goal-line technology. The UEFA European Championship uses it as does the AFC Asian Cup. Then, the Nations League in CONCACAF and UEFA use it.
Which major competitions do not use goal-line technology?
MLS Commissioner Don Garber said he ruled out the system because of its cost. Installation of the technology would have cost $260,000 per stadium. Then it costs $3,900 to run each game. The lack of technology directly impacted Austin, which lost by a lone goal against Seattle on that day.
The Scottish Premiership echoed that reasoning. It said only the richest leagues in Europe could afford the technology.
Also worth noting is that no leagues or competitions in South America or Africa use goal-line technology. Instead, it is reserved for the often wealthier European or Asian leagues.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Action Pictures
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