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No goal line technology for Major League Soccer in 2013

Feb 14, 2013, 10:20 AM EDT

goal line tech 3

TUCSON, Ariz. – Major League Soccer is bullish on the new goal line technology, now slowly being introduced to the game, that can remove one element of potential match controversy.

Upon FIFA approval of the high-tech science that can remove all doubt, in real time, about whether a ball has fully crossed the goal line, MLS commissioner Don Garber talked about wanting to get on board as quickly as possible, with 2013 as the initial target.

But Nelson Rodriguez, the league’s executive vice president of competition, told me Wednesday night that it won’t happen in 2013.

Further, because Rodriguez believes the league requires six months to implement the new technology, he said MLS probably needs FIFA approval by late this summer or 2014 implementation would be in jeopardy, too.

Rodriguez was in Tucson for the Desert Diamond Cup, a preseason tournament with four MLS clubs.

He said the league has not lost a bit of interest and will be as aggressive as possible, never mind cost that promise to be considerable. The stumbling blocks are mostly procedural and above MLS level. FIFA’s deliberate approach to spreading the technology – used for the first time last December during the Club World Cup – is the issue.

Two independent systems have gained official FIFA sanction, one is chip-based and one is camera-based. Both were employed during the high-profile 10-day club tournament in Japan two months ago.

Only two companies are presently authorized to build those systems, Rodriguez explained. Plus, one of two designated FIFA officials must be present at installation for each venue, a fairly cumbersome and time-consuming process to coordinate across such a large country.

And Major League Soccer isn’t the only league interested in the top standard of goal line officiating; It does not sound like Major League Soccer is near the top of FIFA’s list for getting the technology going here.

Considering FIFA’s dawdling and delay in getting the system up and operating, none of this can be considered much of a surprise.

  1. wfjackson3 - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Can someone please explain to me why we would have to wait for a FIFA official to come to the US and observe the installation of a FIFA sanctioned technology in our domestic league? How is it even any business of theirs? It’s not like they include our professional teams in anything other than the club world cup.

    • Steve Davis - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      FIFA rules all in pro soccer. It probably should not be this way … but it is what it is. If governing bodies in countries want to be sanctioned (and you cannot play in international tournaments without FIFA sanction) they have to play by FIFA’s rules.

    • charliej11 - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:52 PM

      Agree 100%, do and it they can provide their almight approval later.

      FIFA will get over it. Anyway, they are probably more concerned that the bribes weren’t enough or MLS had too many minorities and not enough racism.

  2. tackledummy1505 - Feb 15, 2013 at 3:19 AM

    FIFA probably owns the rights to the technology, so if the MLS went a head and installed their own version or one of the versions made for FIFA without their approval, could in return have sanctions put against them. This all leads up to the MLS being dragged into court costing them money, then if they lose they can face heavy fines and restitution claims made by FIFA. Where if the MLS just waits for the spoiled brat to feel better about themselves watching this equipment be installed the MLS can avoid all the other hassle. In the end everyone is happy, even though we have to stand by and be the bigger people, while the spoiled brat waives his new toy in our face saying, “Nah na na nah na.” Lol

  3. jumpingnots - Feb 27, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    Please !!!!!!!! let us not worry about the goal line technology yet,first lets concentrate and learn to catch up with rest of the world in this game,learn to play soccer like the rest,we have a long way to go to make a dent in this game.

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