NZ team to play in goal line tech match in Japan
New Zealand will be a part of footballing history tonight when Auckland City takes on Hiroshima in the opening match of the Fifa Club World Cup in Japan in a match where goal line technology will be officially used for the first time.
It’s Auckland City's fourth appearance in the tournament, but this time they'll be involved in a world first.
“Up to now it was just an experiment,” says Jeremoe Valcke, Fife Secretary General.
“This time an agreement [was] given by the International Football Association Board - the remaining test was the installation test. They went through, they succeeded this test.”
The decision to finally go ahead with goal line technology was prompted by the 2010 World Cup controversy, when England midfielder Frank Lampard's goal was disallowed against Germany.
There have been many other examples, including the goal that never was when Manchester United keeper Roy Carroll clearly dropped the ball over the line.
Arguably the most infamous incident was when Geoff Hurst was awarded a goal in the 1966 World Cup final - to help England to the title.
“We have to ensure the ball is in. The ref has to get the information the ball is in and that’s why the system, this system is used, nothing else,” adds Valcke.
Two systems will be in play: the Hawk Eye camera-based system and Goal Ref, which uses a microchip in the ball and magnetic waves around the goal.
One will then be used at next year’s Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup.
But the referee will still have the final say.
“There is not argumentation from the referee against technology because technology is support for referee at the end of the day,” explains Thomas Pellkofer, goal referee’s operations manager.
So, Auckland City will play their part in history tonight and they would dearly like to celebrate that with a win.