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Wednesday, 5th December 2012
In Japan Sports News, Sports,

Japan to host 1st ever goal-line technology football game

Japan is getting ready to host the FIFA Club World Cup which will be the first ever tournament to make use of new goal-line technology to help ensure a fair outcome to the so-called beautiful game.

The opening match will take place on Thursday (December 6th) between Japan's Sanfrecce Hiroshima and New Zealand's amateur side Auckland City.

During the event, which will take place in Toyota and Yokohama, there will be two systems in place to track the ball - Hawk-Eye and GoalRef. The second will see a microchip used inside the ball which will send out magnetic waves around the goal.

In an interview with Reuters news agency Hawk-Eye's managing director Steve Carter said that the inclusion of such technology in football games has come about as "an organic thing".

"Every time there is a controversial decision in football, particularly at the elite level, pressure organically grows on the governing body and we're seeing the result of that," he said.

At a press conference ahead of the tournament Jerome Valcke, FIFA secretary general, said that football's governing body were "very happy to be in Tokyo again".

Mr Valcke said that he was "expecting a great tournament" and expressed his excitement at being in east Asia as he said "it is always a pleasure to be in Japan".

Commenting on the official debut of goal-line technology, Mr Valcke described the opening game as a "big day" and said that it was "a kind of revolution" that it was finally being implemented. 

He was keen to highlight the fact that despite the use of Hawk-Eye and GoalRef, the referee has the final word over whether a goal should be allowed.

"The technology won't change the speed, value or spirit of the game," he said.

President of the Local Organising Committee and the Japan Football Association Kuniya Daini said: “It is our pleasure to be hosting the FIFA Club World Cup again, for the second consecutive year."

He explained that while tickets for the final were nearly sold out, there was still availability for the other matches taking place during the tournament.

Written by Mark Smith