Soccer to Test Ball With Microchip Beep
Sat Feb 26, 2:18 PM ET Technology - AP
CARDIFF, Wales - A soccer ball containing a microchip that beeps when it crosses the goal line will be tested at this year's under-17 world championship.
The International Football Association Board, which makes the rules for world soccer, agreed to the trial Saturday at its annual general meeting.
The microchip ball, which was produced in part by Adidas, was used in a game between Nuremberg and Nuremberg reserves on Wednesday in Germany.
When the ball crosses the line, the microchip transmits a signal to a watchlike device on the referee's wrist, making either a beep or vibration.
"Not a day goes by without technology making progress," FIFA president Sepp Blatter said. "We therefore have a duty to at least examine whether new technology could be used in football.
Blatter added that the key issue is to make sure the technology does not undermine the officials or rules of the game.
The English Football Association also offered to experiment with the ball. However, the Premier League and Football League use balls made by rival manufacturers.
The under-17 worlds are set for Sept. 16-Oct. 2 in Peru. The technology most likely will not be ready for next year's World Cup in Germany.
Calls for new technology resurfaced in England after Tottenham was denied a clear goal at Manchester United on Jan. 4. Goalkeeper Roy Carroll dropped the ball behind the line, but the officials missed the call.
The IFAB, in rulings to take effect July 1, also decided that:
_any tackle endangering a player's health will earn an automatic red card.
_a player is offside if he is nearer to his opponent's goal line than both the ball and next-to-last opponent. "The position of any part of the player's head, body or feet will be the deciding factor, and not the player's arms," the IFAB said.
_six substitutes will be allowed for international exhibitions.
_opponents must be at least 2 yards from a thrower until the ball is in play.
Since its inception in the late 19th century, the IFAB has met annually to review soccer rules. The IFAB consists of four representatives from FIFA and one each from the soccer associations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.