Monday, December 05, 2005

FIFA Says No to 'Smartball'

There will be no 'smartball' technology to assist referees during the 2006 World Cup. FIFA general secretary Urs Linsi said of the ball, "We consider the technology is not yet ready."

The Smartball contains a microchip that sends up radio signals when the ball crosses the touchline. The signal is picket up by various antennae placed around the pitch. A computer then alerts the referee by sending a message to their watch. The whole process takes under a second.

This system was used in the FIFA Under-17 world championship in September and was to be used in this month's World Club Championship in Japan, but FIFA felt like there was still too little data to bring this into use for the biggest soccer event in the world.

I am not surprised by FIFA's decision. People hate it when a ref makes a bad call, but if a computer made a mistake around the goal, I think it would piss folks off even more. That said, I would be surprised if this is the last World Cup without some sort of smart technology. This sort of technology is only getting better and more reliable. I'm sure the EPL or some other major European league will adopt it soon. Once it is seen to be good enough for the top leagues, it will be good enough for FIFA.


Post a Comment

<< Home