International rivalries are part of soccer, but disputed goals don’t have to be. Here’s why the World Cup will use technology to keep its eye on the ball.

[Photo by Nadine Rupp, Courtesy of Adidas, Diagrams by Brown Bird Design]

The most infamous goal-line call ever

1966 World Cup final: England beat West Germany at Wembley Stadium when a referee awarded a goal to England’s Geoff Hurst–even though his shot never crossed the goal line after smashing off the crossbar. This year’s network of cameras aimed at the goal line, created by GoalControl, a German firm, would have caught the error.


2014 World cup key dates:

July 8: First chance for England to play Germany
July 13: The final

Aside from 1966, Germany has finished ahead of england in every world cup since 1954.

Why world cup arbiters need some help

Soccer refs cover lots of ground

1819: Year that soccer set in place its current system of employing one referee and two linesmen.

1. Tennis: 211 square ft per referee
At Wimbledon, 10 umpires cover a standard singles court of 2,106 ft2.

2. Football: 6,857 square ft per referee
Seven referees cover NFL games on fields of 48,000 ft2.

3. Baseball: 19,433 square ft per referee
Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City is the biggest, at 116,600 ft2.


4. Soccer: 25,605 square ft per referee
Rio de Janeiro‘s Maracana, host of the 2014 final, is Brazil’s biggest, at 76,815 ft2.

Cameras used by the GoalControl System:

Fourteen: Together they capture 500 images per second. Officials get alerted within a second if a goal is scored.