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Hawk-Eye apology after tech denies Sheffield United goal


The Premier League returned last night, but in the first match back, it was a technology failure that gained the headlines.

For “the first time in 9000 matches”, the Hawk-Eye system was unable to detect that the ball had crossed the line, meaning that Sheffield United were denied a 42nd minute goal.

Ordinarily the system would send a signal to the referee to indicate a goal, but according to Hawk-Eye, this didn’t happen, because all 7 of its cameras were obscured.

“The match officials did not receive a signal to the watch, nor earpiece as per the Goal Decision System protocol,” said a statement from Hawk-Eye Innovations.

“The 7 cameras located in the stands around the goal area were significantly occluded by the goalkeeper, defender, and goalpost. This level of occlusion has never been seen before in over 9000 matches that the Hawk-Eye Goal Line Technology system has been in operation.”

The company added that the system had been tested before the match and was “functional throughout.”

“Hawk-Eye unreservedly apologises to the Premier League, Sheffield United, and everyone affected by this incident.”

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Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager said he was frustrated:

“The most technically advanced league in the world, video analysis, Prozone, and everything we see at every angle and it hasn’t seen a goal.

“We went to Tottenham last year, John Lundstram’s big toe was offside and I was hanging around in the pouring rain for 10 minutes waiting for a decision. I don’t understand why I can’t wait 10 minutes in Birmingham.

“The statement has come out and it is unprecedented, unbelievable.”

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