Instant replay’s debut at World Cup marks end to goal controversies – National

WATCH: Arguments over controversial goals at the World Cup will be a thing of the past beginning this week when goal-line technology is used for the first time.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Was it a goal, or wasn’t it?

The question shouldn’t need to be debated in the next five weeks in Brazil, where goal-line technology will be used for the first time in a World Cup.

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Fourteen cameras — seven trained on each goalmouth — have been hung up in all 12 World Cup stadiums. The cameras will record 500 images per second, and a computer will digest the frames.

Within a second of a ball crossing the line, the referee’s special watch will vibrate and flash “GOAL.”

End of the debate? It should be. The designer of the system says 2,400 tests have been run in Brazil, without a mistake.

READ MORE: Explore Brazil’s new stadiums via Google’s Street View

“This is the future,” said Dirk Broichhausen, who heads the German company GoalControl, whose system will be used at the tournament and was demonstrated Monday at Rio’s Maracana stadium.

It’s also a type of technology that FIFA repeatedly balked at in the past. But the 2010 World Cup changed that when a shot by England’s Frank Lampard in the second round against Germany was clearly over the line, but disallowed. That goal would have tied it 2-2. Instead Germany won 4-1. And that helped end the indecision.

“Most of the time the referee doesn’t have the best vantage point for his decision – goal or no goal,” said Johannes Holzmuller, who heads a FIFA program that helped implement the technology. “The same applies for normal TV cameras.”

He said the human eye could record only 16 “frames” per second, no match for a high-speed camera.

Different types of goal-line technology have already been used in club football, including the Hawk-Eye system in the Premier League this past season.

Holzmuller said the GoalControl system had proved reliable, even if several of its seven cameras were blocked by players. Broichhausen suggested the system could not be hacked, and FIFA has repeatedly said it’s just another aid to help the referee.

“This system is not able to be manipulated because the system is off-line,”Broichhausen said. “Off-line means no internet connection. There is no possibility to manipulate or disturb anything.”

GALLERY: Is Brazil ready to host the World Cup?

This aerial view shot through an airplane window shows the Maracana stadium behind the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, May 13, 2014. As opening day for the World Cup approaches, people continue to stage protests, some about the billions of dollars spent on the World Cup at a time of social hardship, but soccer is still a unifying force. The international soccer tournament will be the first in the South American nation since 1950.

AP Photo/Felipe Dana

The view from inside the Maracana stadium during a press tour this week. The stadium will host the World Cup Final on July 13.

AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo

Work continues at the Arena da Baixada in the southern city of Curitiba. The host country had seven years to get ready for the World Cup, but it enters the final month of preparations with a lot yet to be done. The unfinished stadium was nearly excluded from the tournament by FIFA earlier this year.

AP Photo/Denis Ferreira Netto

An aerial view of the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba, Brazil from January. A worker at the World Cup stadium died on May 8 in an electrical accident.

AP Photo/Portal da Copa, Jose Medeiros

Members of the Homeless Workers Movement protest against the money spent on the World Cup near Itaquerao stadium which will host the international soccer tournament's first match in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, May 15, 2014.

AP Photo/Andre Penne

Labourers work on constructing Terminals 3 and 4 at the Sao Paulo/Guarulhos Governor Andre Franco Montoro International Airport in October.

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This Sept. 11, 2013 file photo released by Portal da Copa 2014 shows an aerial view of the Galeao international airport in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

(AP Photo/Portal da Copa 2014, Daniel Basil, File)

A collapsed metal structure sits on the ground at the Arena Corinthians, known locally as the Itaquerao, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

AP Photo/Andre Penner

This March 2014 file photo released by Portal da Copa, shows an aerial view of the Itaquerao stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

(AP Photo/Portal da Copa, Mauricio Simonetti, File)

Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne visits the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro in early April.

AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo

Brazil’s previous World Cup champions, from left, Zagallo, Marcos, Rivellino, Amarildo who holds the World Cup, and Bebeto pose for a photo below the Christ the Redeemer statue at the launch of the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo, File

The World Cup trophy sits on display during the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour at Maracana stadium.

AP Photo/Felipe Dana

Popular demand: Star Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho is putting his Rio de Janeiro mansion on the rental market during the World Cup. The five-bedroom house is available for the first 15 days of July for $15,500/day.

AP Photo/Bruno Magalhaes, File

The system has tested perfectly so far. That does not mean it is perfectly accurate.

Like most engineering projects, this one has a margin of error. It officially measures correctly within a plus-minus margin of 1.5 centimetres ( 1/2 inch), but Broichnausen suggested the the real margin could be about 0.5 centimetres (less than 1/4 inch).

“All of these 2,400 goal incident were correctly recognized by the system,” Holzmuller said. “So yes, we can trust the system. We are sure it works 100 per cent.”

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