Hawk-Eye Innovations – in charge of goal-line technology – have issued an apology to Sheffield United and the Premier League after failing to award a clear goal to the Blades during their 0-0 draw with Aston Villa.
The footballing world had its eyes peeled on Villa Park on Wednesday, as the first English top flight fixture in over three months took place between two sides chasing vastly different goals this season.
Villa, bidding to avoid an immediate return the Championship hosted United, who are chasing a Champions League berth this season after a remarkable Premier League campaign.
A goalless draw was the end result, but it shouldn’t have been, after Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland clearly fumbled a long free-kick into his own net on 42 minutes. With referee Michael Oliver expected to award a goal via goal-line technology, no decision was forthcoming due to an apparent mistake with the technology.
Hawk-Eye have since confirmed this to be true.
In a public statement, the company said: “During the first half of Aston Villa vs Sheffield United match at Villa Park, there was a goal line incident where the ball was carried over the line by Aston Villa goalkeeper, No 25 Nyland.
“The match officials did not receive a signal to the watch nor earpiece as per Goal Decision System (GDS) protocol. The seven cameras located in the stands around the oak area were significantly occluded by the goalkeeper, defender and goalpost.
“This level of occlusion has never been seen before in over 9,000 matches that the Hawk-Eye Goal Line Technology system has been in operation.
“The system was tested and proved functional prior to the start of the match in accordance with the IFAB Laws of the Game and confirmed as working by match officials. The system has remained functional throughout. Hawk-Eye unreservedly apologises to the Premier League, Sheffield United, and everyone affected by this incident.”