- Associated Press - Monday, March 14, 2011

LONDON (AP) - Goal-line technology could be coming to the Premier League next season, with Hawk-Eye hoping to test its system during top-level matches for the first time.

But with soccer’s rules-making body yet to allow referees to consult high-tech aids, the trials and results will remain secret.

Hawk-Eye founder Paul Hawkins also is concerned that if his system contradicted a ruling on a disputed goal and the results were made public, the referee would be undermined.

The sport moved closer to adopting goal-line technology earlier this month after the International Football Association Board approved another year of testing and FIFA president Sepp Blatter declared that it “helps referees.”

Hawk-Eye didn’t participate in previous tests because they weren’t conducted in stadium conditions.

Blatter accepts that future tests will have to take place in stadiums and has identified England as a likely location.

And Hawkins, whose company was sold to electronics giant Sony Corp. last week, plans to speak to FIFA in the next week to gain approval for further testing.

“We’ve got to find a stadium to put the tests in,” Hawkins told The Associated Press. “We also need to check in advance what is wanted, testing-wise. I expect there will be a contractual commitment that we don’t report the information from the tests so we don’t undermine the officials if there is a controversial goal. Just at the time when we are testing technology that will hopefully help officials in the future, we don’t want Hawk-Eye showing they are wrong.”

Hawk-Eye’s ball-tracking technology, which is achieved by positioning cameras around the stadium, already has been successfully deployed in tennis and cricket.

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