FIFA to trial chipped soccer ball in Japan

The referees at the upcoming Club World Cup in Japan will likely be taking a little less flack from the fans if a ball manages to come dangerously close to slipping into the net, as FIFA is deploying a type of "goal-line" technology that more precisely indicates whether debatable shots really crossed the line. At the heart of the system are four sensors that are placed around the goal and a single microchip within the so-called smart-ball; if the ball does indeed cross over the goal line, an encrypted message is instantly beamed out to a referee's watch, leaving no doubt as to whether or not a point should be awarded. Apparently, the system will be widely used at the 2010 World Cup if testing proves successful, but unfortunately, this same technology can't be used to embarrass the multitude of players who will inevitably take a dive in order to draw a card.

[Via AFP / Yahoo, image courtesy of FIFA]