FIFA has announced a preliminary decision to end the ongoing debate on how referees will one day evaluate whether the ball has crossed the goal line during games. FIFA has approved a system based on an intelligent soccer ball that can confirm that it has crossed the goal line in a football game. FIFA has been testing Danish company Select's iBall in the GoalRef sysetm for the past few months and has approved the ball for a final test so that the system can one day be used in professional football games.

Peter Knap, CEO of Select, stated, “It is challenging work to design an intelligent ball that can withstand Ronaldo's kick and at the same time be able to communicate with a system on the goal line. We have been developing the soccer ball for more than 65 years, so we have a solid head start when it comes to ensuring quality in new solutions.” As the company that developed the modern soccer ball, Select has a long heritage in the sport. The FIFA announcement marks the first time an intelligent ball has received recognition from the regulatory body.

Kick it!

Kick it!

“With a certain sense of pride, we can now say that Select has been behind the four most important steps in the development of the modern soccer ball. It began with the first laceless leather ball, then the first ball with 32 panels, then the first synthetic leather ball, and now the world's first intelligent ball. At Select we have a deep insight into the very nature of the sport that enables us to create the best professional sporting equipment,” Knap added. 

While Select is the manufacturer behind the iBall, the complete GoalRef system has been developed in partnership with the German company Fraunhofer IIS, part of Europe's largest application-oriented research organization. The Fraunhofer Society Project leader Ingmar Bretz from Fraunhofer IIS said, “Having a reliable partner like Select has been essential for us to achieve this. Select has years of development experience from the history of GoalRef and their know-how within ball production has been vital for our success.”

The iBall works through an internal web of copper wire which uses induction to communicate with a panel of antennas mounted to the goal frame. The system sends a signal to the referee's wristwatch the instant the entire ball passes the goal line, and the referee can instantly call it a goal.

FIFA's decision is the finest proof yet that the technology behind the iBall can live up to all of the tough demands of modern soccer in terms of precision, speed and quality. With this acknowledgement, Select seems to have achieved a milestone in the development of the soccer ball. But, how will it perform in a real life football match? We’ll only know once it's put through its paces in Europe's biggest competitions.

Check out the video below to see how it works: 


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