NEW YORK — Major League Soccer has decided goal-line technology is over the line — the league’s budget line.
After saying last year the league was “open to using goal-line technology as soon as it is made available,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said it’s not worth the cost.
Soccer’s international rules-making body approved goal-line technology last July. FIFA announced in February that the GoalControl-4D system will be used at the 2014 World Cup. England’s Premier League said April 11 it will install the Hawk-Eye system next season, becoming the first domestic competition to use technology.
GoalControl said it is likely to cost about $260,000 per stadium to install, and $3,900 per game to operate. Speaking Thursday to the Associated Press Sports Editors, Garber called the price “very, very, very expensive.
“It had us take a step back and pause and try to figure out is the value of having goal-line technology worth investing millions and millions and millions of dollars for the handful of moments where it’s relevant?” Garber said. “And our view has been that we’re going to wait and see how it works out. We certainly don’t need to be the first league that has it.”
He said it was a matter of “prioritizing how we spend our money.”
FIFA has approved four systems: GoalControl-4D and Hawk-Eye use cameras, and GoalRef and Cairos employ magnetic field technology.
Garber cited the opposition of Michael Platini, president of European soccer’s governing body. Platini said goal-line technology would cost about $66 million over five years to install for UEFA competitions. UEFA instead uses four assistant referees rather than two,
FIFA’s conservative nature limits MLS’s ability to experiment with innovation, according to Garber.
“I’m a believer in technology, and if I were a king, we would have more technology in Major League Soccer and in our game,” he said. “But I’m not a king, I’m a subject, and unfortunately the league can’t operate outside the confines of FIFA, or we would be a rogue league. So our ability to do unique and interesting things like the other leagues in our country can do is somewhat limited.”