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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 July 2007, 08:05 GMT 09:05 UK
Football turns to technology
By Mandeep Sanghera

Hawk-Eye would involve cameras around each goalmouth

Standing on some scaffolding at a windy Reading training ground, the mastermind of Hawk-Eye is developing his system for use in football.

Paul Hawkins, armed with a walkie-talkie, is conducting operations to come up with an infallible method of determining whether or not a ball has crossed the line.

He has been contracted to do so by the Premier League and Hawkins is placing the emphasis on perfection rather than meeting a deadline.

The inventor of a system used to resolve certain issues in both cricket and tennis has played down the notion that football will be utilising another Hawk-Eye development next season.

"There is still a long way to go yet," he told BBC Sport.

"We are going to be developing it and then testing it. The process of testing is to throw balls around the goalposts in different scenarios and to see if the system gets it right everytime.

We want to get it right and as long as we do that then it will be used

Paul Hawkins

"A series of cameras on scaffolding are positioned around the goal.

"We possess hundreds of cameras and we will use different ones at different times. It will be at least a four-camera system for each goal.

"The trials will go on until it is ready. As Albert Einstein said: 'If we knew what we were doing it wouldn't be research'.

"The plan is to get where we need to be in a couple of months but sometimes it can take less time and sometimes more so we will just see how it goes.

"If you put pressure on some developers, they don't do such a good job so my view is to let people come up with the best solution.


"You only get one chance at this. It's pointless rushing it. We want to get it right and as long as we do that then it will be used. It's as simple as that."

Hawk-Eye has added an element of drama to tennis in judging disputed line calls but Hawkins says this will not be the case in football.

"It's not being used as it was at Wimbledon. The football system is that as soon as the ball has crossed the line the referee is told immediately.

"You should judge the football system and tennis one differently because the protocol for how it is going to be used is not the same.

It will certainly be quicker than the time players would spend protesting whether a goal was valid or not

Paul Hawkins

The Premiership will be sending a delegation "in a few weeks time" to check on the progress made by Hawkins as he strives to produce a system that "works in all scenarios".

Under conditions set out by Fifa, the information of whether the ball crosses the goal-line or not will only be available to match officials and has to be instantaneous.

There have been concerns Hawk-Eye could slow down the pace of the game but Hawkins is quick to counter any such fears.

"We think we have got a reputation for delivering high quality products so give us time as we know that when it is up and running it will be pretty good," he said.

"It certainly won't interrupt the flow of the game because one of the criteria from Fifa is that the information has to be given to the referee immediately.

"So, if anything, it will speed the game up. It will certainly be quicker than the time players would spend protesting whether a goal was valid or not."

Premier League in Hawk-Eye trials
08 Jul 07 |  Premier League
Tantrums and technology
22 Jun 07 |  Tennis
Go-ahead for goal-line technology
03 Mar 07 |  Football
Blatter eyes goal-line technology
27 Nov 06 |  Football
Goal-line technology trial widens
21 Nov 06 |  Football
Premier League wants video help
21 Nov 06 |  Premier League
Referees want to use technology
24 Oct 05 |  Premier League


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