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Plans to use goal-line technology in England delayed

LONDON (Reuters) -- Plans to introduce goalline technology in the Premier League for the 2012-13 season will be delayed for at least a year, Alex Horne, the general secretary of the English FA said on Wednesday.

The Premier League had hoped to be the first major league in the world to use technology but tests into the accuracy of various systems would not be completed in time and 2013-14 would be a more realistic starting date, he said.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, long an opponent of using any system, said last year tests into technology could resume after being shelved in 2009, following England's disallowed goal in the World Cup against Germany, and the law-making International Football Association Board (IFAB) has authorised new tests.

However, IFAB is now not expected to sanction any implementation until after next year's European championship finals in Poland and Ukraine.

Horne, speaking at the Leaders in Football conference in London, said: "I think that'll be too late for season 2012-13.

"I think it'll be 2013-14 because there's then a big capital decision-making process for any league or any competition who want to apply it."

FIFA is testing eight or nine systems and all could eventually be sanctioned.

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"There's not going to be one technology for all of world football," he said. "Multiple technologies, if they meet the criteria, will be available then to go into the market and people will buy.

"IFAB will licence them as successful products and other products could join in later if they can reach the standards.

He added there would be big decisions for competition organisers to take.

"Do you have one technology for a competition, do you have multiple technologies for multiple competitions?" he said.

"There's a phase of testing that will run up until March that will establish, basically, whether technology can actually achieve reasonable accuracy of 90 percent, 99 percent, maybe even 100 percent.

"The tests are being carried out live in stadia all around Europe. They can simulate light, they can simulate dark, they can simulate balls rolling across the line, balls being fired in from all different angles.

"The testers can move in and spend three or four hours testing their system."

Blatter has said he expected the tests to be completed in time for any approved system to be used in time for 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.