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Hawkeye study dashed by football's rulemakers

Football's rulemakers have delivered a crushing blow to goal line technology by ending the Premier League's hopes of introducing the 'Hawkeye' system for the 2009/10 season.

League chiefs reacted with bitter disappointment after the International FA Board (IFAB) decided at their meeting at Gleneagles to freeze further trials and instead push ahead with experiments to have two extra assistant referees standing behind each goal line.

The Premier League have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds employing 'Hawkeye' to develop a system, while adidas and Cairos Technologies' expenditure on their idea involving a microchip inside a ball probably runs into millions.

FA chief executive Brian Barwick said: "I think goal line technology is now dead in the water, and that is a disappointment to the FA - although we absolutely respect the democracy of the International FA Board."

Premier League spokesman Dan Johnson added: "We are very disappointed - especially having worked so hard to deliver the criteria set out by the IFAB a year ago - but we must respect their view."

Paul Hawkins, managing director of Hawkeye, said he was livid at the decision.

"I am gobsmacked and it's completely out of the blue. A year ago they seemed to want it, we have invested an awful lot of money and now we have no return on that. I am livid."

The IFAB is made up of the four home associations, who each have a vote, and FIFA who have four.

FIFA and the Football Association of Wales all voted to freeze goal line technology in favour of the extra referees plan put forward by UEFA president Michel Platini.

David Collins, general secretary of the FAW, said: "Football is a game played by human beings, and there was a feeling technology can hinder the flow of the game.

"Other sports have embraced technology - but they are far more stop-start."

Barwick also raised potential problems with having two extra match officials.

He said: "Recruiting referees and assistant referees is an issue for us and many other associations. This would mean two more for each game, so we will have to see how the experiments play out."

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Tribal Football Staff

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