GLT, soccer goal-line technology explained

Soccer goal-line technologyAfter several high-profile blunders made by soccer referees over the last few years, FIFA has started using the goal-line technology (GLT) in a major tournament during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The goal-line or goal decision technology is a suite of electronic devices that determines whether the whole of the ball has crossed the goal line or not. This helps the referee in deciding whether to award a score or not. A similar tech has been implemented in other competitive sports such as rugby, tennis and American football.

How does it work?

Goal line technology camera14 high-speed cameras are mounted throughout the stadium, seven on each side, to monitor the flight of the ball inside the goal area. These cameras feed information to a software that analyzes and determines whether a goal has been made or not. During a successful goal, the software sends a “GOAL” notification to special watches worn by match officials.

To make sure that the technology doesn't interfere with the flow of the game, the information is transmitted within one second and only to the officiating referees. It is important to remember that these systems are not the sole deciding factor. Instead, they're used as a tool to aid the officiating personnel in their decisions. It is still up to the referees whether to award the goal or not.

FIFA adopts goal-line technology on World Cup matches

It became clear how badly the major football matches needed the goal-line technology during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Frank Lampard's – of England – goal against Germany was disallowed during a second-round match. This officiating blunder accelerated the adoption of GLTs in major FIFA matches.

Four years after the incident, FIFA adopted the German-produced system called GoalControl. It has continued to operate in every game since the opener between Brazil and Croatia to the finals between Germany and Argentina.

First World Cup goal awarded with GLT support

It would not be until the group-stage game between France and Honduras that we would witness the first use of goal-line technology in a World Cup game. Despite the technology working correctly and aiding the referee in making the right calls, the way in which the decision was declared created confusion among the players, coaches and football fans around the world.

When Karim Benzema's strike hit the inside right post and then bounced along the goal-line, goal-line technology was called upon to make the right call. However the video replay showed two events. It paused at the moment when the ball hit the inside of the goal and claimed that this was "no goal". This sparked a lot of confusion and outrage from the French team. Seconds later, it showed the second event after the ball bounced off the post which showed that the ball had in fact crossed over the line.

While Honduras coach Luis Suarez was initially perplexed by this, further examinations of the replay proved that the ball had indeed crossed the line and the goal-line technology system's final decision of declaring a goal was correct.