The Premier League will use goal-line technology provided by British-based firm Hawkeye from next season, it was agreed today.
League sources have confirmed the Hawkeye system was ratified at meeting of the 20 top-flight clubs in London today, beating a German system, GoalControl, which has also been under consideration after submitting a tender.
Hawkeye, which was sold to technology giant Sony two years ago, already provides systems for tennis and cricket and today’s decision means the firm's camera-based system will be in place at Premier League grounds and at Wembley Stadium from next season.
"The Premier League is pleased to announce that it has awarded Hawk-Eye, the world's leading provider of vision processing instruments to sport, the contract to provide goalline technology systems across its 20 member clubs and all 380 Barclays Premier League matches," the league said in a statement.
"This will be the first time that goalline technology is used in any domestic competition."
The company claims the system is "millimetre accurate ensuring no broadcast replays could disprove the decision" and the system to be used in the Premier League will notify the referee if the ball has crossed the line within one second.
The Football Association wants technology to be introduced at the pre-season Community Shield fixture after lobbying for it for some time, sanctioning its testing at an England vs Belgium international friendly last June.
Installation of the system, which involves seven cameras behind each goal, is expected to take up to six weeks to complete at the 20 clubs competing in the Premier League next season.
The system works by processing the images from each camera to find the ball within the image and also identify areas which are definitely not the ball.
Control software combines the information from all cameras and is able to track the ball within the goal area. As soon as the system detects that the ball has crossed the goal line, it instantaneously sends a signal to the official’s watch.
The watch has been developed for Hawk-Eye by Adeunis, and it is technically possible to also provide a “near miss” signal to the watches so the referee also receives a positive confirmation that the ball did not cross the line in a close incident.
The system is able to locate the ball even if it is only found in 2 of the 7 cameras and the system utilises a dedicated high speed camera capable of removing players from the image to ensure the ball is fully visible.
Former Arsenal and FA vice-chairman David Dein, who has long campaigned for goal-line technology, claimed every top-flight referee in England was in favour of having a system.
He said at the Soccerex conference in Manchester: "The Premier League will be the first league in Europe to introduce it. I have been on this campaign for six or seven years and now it's going to happen. The referees need help, the camera will always beat the eye, and every referee in the Premier League is in favour of it."
The head of Spain's La Liga said it would follow suit and bring in goal-line technology in two or three years.
Francisco Roca Perez told the Soccerex conference: "We are truly advocates for technology and we will look at the systems and the cost.
"We are not going to be as quick as the Premier League but we are in favour of the system. I expect that in two or three years we will be able to do something like this either with technology that we buy or that we create ourselves."