Vol. 5 Num 1104 Mon. July 09, 2007  

Hawk-eye set for EPL debut

The Premier league is set to test Hawk-eye technology in football with a view to remove doubts over goal-line decisions, the chief of the company that makes the product has said.

The ball-tracking system, which is already used in cricket and tennis, will initially be put to the test at Reading's academy and then tried out next season but not used by the officials.

Paul Hawkins, managing director of Hawk-Eye Innovations, told BBC Five Live's Sportsweek: "We have a contract with the Premier League to develop a system purely to resolve the dispute whether the ball crossed the line, purely for the referee and not for television.

"The process is to be evaluated by the Premier League and then by FIFA, if we jump those hurdles then the end aim is to have it installed in all Premier League grounds hopefully."

Hawk-Eye was brought in for this year's Wimbledon championships although it's reliability has been questioned.

Those in favour of technology in football point to ending the argument in instances such as Chelsea's Champions League defeat to Liverpool when it was unclear whether Luis Garcia's strike had crossed the line.

Hawkins believes the technology could be a part of the Premier League within two years if tests go to plan and it receives FIFA approval.

He added: "It will be tested next month and the process will evolve from there.

"It took a couple of years in tennis from the start of tests to it being used and we can probably expect the same timeframe."

Hawkins hopes his innovation will be used at next year's Wimbledon.

"A few players like Nadal have questioned it but every single time it has been proven to be correct so it's been an overriding success," he said.