GENEVA (AP) — A fourth goal-line technology system is competing for selection at the 2014 World Cup after FIFA licensed the GoalControl-4D project on Friday.
GoalControl uses seven high-speed cameras trained on each goalmouth, and passed FIFA-approved tests last month in German stadiums in Duesseldorf and Gelsenkirchen. It joins another camera-based system, Hawk-Eye from Britain, and two German projects using magnetic field technology, GoalRef and Cairos, seeking to win the FIFA contract. It should be awarded in April for use in Brazil at the Confederations Cup in June and the World Cup.
GoalControl owner Dirk Broichhausen acknowledged that Hawk-Eye and GoalRef have a slight advantage after being used at the Club World Cup in Japan in December. "I think everybody has a good chance to win the tender," Broichhausen told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "At the end of the day, the organizers must see what is economic and the best technical system with the best reliability."
GoalControl-4D gets a chance to prove its worth in competition at Veltins-Arena when Schalke hosts Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on March 9. "It's installed in Gelsenkirchen so it's only 'plug and play' and switch on," Broichhausen said.
GoalControl aims to impress FIFA — and leagues around the world considering goal-line technology from next season — by its simplicity. "Our innovation, and also a difference looking to other competitors, is that we can use standard goals, balls and nets. There is no modification necessary," Broichhausen said.
"We want to offer tournament organizers and leagues and clubs not to have to change anything on the pitch. The investment in the technology is enough." GoalControl is likely to cost €200,000 ($260,000) per stadium to install, and €3,000 ($3,900) per match to operate, Broichhausen said.
All four systems meet FIFA's requirement that a signal is transmitted to the referee's watch within one second if a goal should be awarded. GoalControl, which was formed last year, already has a base in Brazil to help press its claim to be selected for FIFA's tournaments.
"We have the logistics," Broichhausen said. "You can believe that our technology is working and very trustworthy." FIFA's ongoing tender process is the final stage of fulfilling President Sepp Blatter's promise in June 2010 that goal-line technology must be used in Brazil.
Blatter changed his long-standing opposition to giving referees technology aids after seeing England's Frank Lampard have a clear goal disallowed against Germany in a second-round match at the World Cup in South Africa. England went on to lose 4-1.