Sunday, April 7, 2013

FIFA: Goal Line Technology went to the lowest bidder

As a backdrop, take a look at this article,  FIFA appoints goal-line tech provider.

Innocuous enough, after all FIFA had to pick someone and better to do it sooner than later.

What was interesting to me was these quotes:

"While all four companies had previously met the stringent technical requirements of the FIFA Quality Programme, the final decision was based on criteria relating more specifically to the tournaments in Brazil, including the company’s ability to adapt to local conditions and the compatibility of each GLT system in relation to FIFA match operations."

Well ok ... I can see this in a way. After all GoalRef and Cairos both used modified goals and ball, and planting electronics in goal posts in a less than friendly ambient environment may cause issues. I personally thought they were lousy (technical) solutions anyway in my previous post on GLT.

What really caught my eye was this quote:

"The respective bids were also judged on cost and project management factors such as staffing and time schedules for installation."

Translation: GoalControl was cheaper than Hawkeye.

Even still it costs $260000 per stadia and nearly $4000 per match to operate the (14) cameras (source). Hardly cheap, but a drop in the bucket for the FIFA bankroll.

This was a bit of a shocker actually as Hawkeye is a well established, well respected company, and GoalControl is just a year old.

I'm sure there was no animosity toward the UK (where Hawkeye is headquartered) after all the grief they have given FIFA of late.

Have no fear, Hawkeye has a safe future in the Premireship as they have been in talks for months.

Now GoalControl did release a statement, in part one I was not really fond of. It stated:

“We look forward to having the opportunity in this competition to offer our goal line technology system, a new tool to assist referees”, states Dirk Broichhausen, Managing Director of GoalControl.

To which I and other referees in the community have said, thanks but no thanks. This is coming from FIFA for reasons other than to help referees. While it is a secondary effect, I don't think anyone genuinely believes that was the ultimate goal.

It rarely is from FIFA.

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