GAA Hawk-Eye Failure Justifies German Decision


The German Football League (DFL) has ruled out the introduction of goal-line technology in the wake of Bayer Leverkusen’s ‘ghost goal’ because of the standard of the available systems.

Few in Ireland would blame them given the discrepancies associated with such systems during this year’s Minor Hurling Championship.

Leverkusen claimed a 2-1 victory over an aggrieved Hoffenheim last weekend as a result of Stefan Kiessling’s 70th-minute goal, which came after his header had missed the target but crept in through a hole in the side netting.

Hoffenheim have called for the game to be replayed, but the German FA (DFB) has said it will abide by FIFA rules, which state that a referee’s decision is final once play has restarted.

FIFA has since stressed that the referee’s decision is final, all but ruling out a replay unless it can be proven that there was a breach of the rules.

The governing body also said technology could help address such problems, adding: “This incident is another example of how the goal-line technology can be a great help in arriving at a right decision, and therefore contribute to fair play in our sport.”

The matter has led to renewed discussion over the introduction of goal-line technology, with the German broadsheet Sueddeutsche Zeitung proposing the introduction of Hawk-Eye , now used in GAA and the English Premier League  or GoalControl, which FIFA tested successfully during the Confederations Cup and will use during next summer’s World Cup.

Hawk-Eye has proved flawed in the GAA as a high-profile error in this year’s All Ireland Minor Hurling Championship semi final between Limerick and Galway decided the game .

The values for one of the high-performance cameras at the Hill 16 end posts had erroneously been calibrated for football, as opposed to hurling.

Barry Nash’s first-minute point for Limerick didn’t register as a score due to the slip-up.

The 3D visuals displaying the sliotar’s position crossing the goalline were correct, but the technology used to calculate whether or not the sliotar would have touched the posts was using the values for the diameter of a football which skewed the official result.

Galway progressed to the All-Ireland MHC final, but only after prevailing in extra-time and subsequently Hawk-Eye was scrapped for the match that succeeded this encounter.


However Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has revealed his shock that the DFB have refused to introduce goal-line technology.

“If I was working in the German Bundesliga — and you are one of the European countries that is not in economical problems — I don’t understand why you don’t spend a few million to bring technology on the line.

“If it was the Portuguese or the Greek league, I would say no chance, but with the German one, I don’t know why you don’t do it.”

However, DFL general manager Andreas Rettig has said that the technology options available remained inadequate.

“We are not against technological progress, but we are talking about a highly complex system here, which might still be failure-prone,” he said. “The 3cm margin of error allowed by FIFA is not acceptable for us.”

Rettig cited the example of Ukraine’s Marko Devic, who was not awarded a goal against England at Euro 2012 despite his shot bouncing 2.6cm over the line. He added: “Imagine the uproar if the goal-line technology had not signalled a goal.”

Kiessling has come in for strong criticism and admits he has endured a pretty hard time since his goal which moved Sami Hyppia’s side to within a point of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.

The striker, who bagged his sixth league goal of the season, appeared to realise he had missed but, according to reports, failed to tell the referee when questioned on the matter. He has faced abuse on the internet and his behaviour has been the subject of scrutiny in the media despite offering a swift apology through his Facebook page.

“Dear fans, friends and all who write to me straight.

I can understand the reactions of many of you one hundred percent and am myself quite upset. According to the replays on TV I see it so clearly: it was not a regular goal. In the game I did not exactly see in my header and the turning of the head, whether the ball went into the goal correctly or not. Somehow the ball was in the goal. Exactly what I told the referee. I’m sorry for all sports fans and the course of the game. To win like so of course is not good. Fairness is important for the sport in our club and for me personally.”

Hoffenheim have announced that they will auction the ‘ghost goal’ netting for charity while Shakhtar Donetsk will be hoping they don’t fall foul of Kiessling’s prowess in tonight’s Champions League clash at the Bay Arena .

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