IFAB, the law-making wing of soccer's governing body FIFA, unanimously voted to allow the use of "Hawk-Eye" and "GoalRef" systems to assist officials in ruling on potential goals, according to the BBC.
The systems will be used for the sole purpose of informing officials whether the ball crossed the line in its entirety.
The technology will first be implemented at this year's FIFA Club World Cup held in Japan, and it's going to cost a pretty penny. According to FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke, installing the system costs around £160,000 (about $249,000) in each stadium.
While both systems achieve the same result, they use very different technology.
Tennis fans will be familiar with Hawk-Eye, as the system has been a popular addition to both broadcasts and official use. The system relies on six cameras to track the ball across the field. When the ball crosses the goal-line, the referee receives a signal on his watch.
The technology behind GoalRef sounds like a science-fiction novel. A microchip is inserted into the ball while magnetic waves are broadcast in the goal. The ball crossing the line triggers a change in the magnetic field and sends a message to the official's watch.
Both systems operate in less than a second, dispelling any fears that the introduction of technology would slow down the game.
IFAB's decision has been a long time coming, with two high-profile incidents furthering public calls for the use of technology.
In the 2010 FIFA World Cup, England's Frank Lampard had a shot ricochet off the crossbar and cross the goal-line — only to be missed by officials, who waved play on. England went from victim to beneficiary in the 2012 UEFA European Championships. The Three Lions were lucky that officials waved off a valid goal by Ukraine's Marko Devic, with England going on to win 1-0 and secure first place in its group.
It is expected that the technology will make its official English Premier League debut sometime during the 2012-13 season.
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