ZURICH (Reuters) - A decade of debate over the use of goal-line technology in soccer could finally end on Thursday when the sport's rulemakers meet with an expected decision on the prickly issue at the top of the agenda.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) approved goal-line technology in principle in March, pending the results of extensive tests on the systems of two companies.
These will be examined at the meeting on Thursday at FIFA's headquarters.
There are eight votes on the IFAB, with four belonging to FIFA and one each to the national associations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with a three-quarters majority needed to approve a change in the laws.
Alex Horne, the general secretary of the English FA, said in March: "We expect, following the conclusion of those tests by EMPA (the Swiss testing laboratory), that one or more of the companies will fulfil the criteria, and that we will be passing that into the laws in July."
Since then, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has reiterated his federation's support for technology following an incident at Euro 2012 when a shot from Ukraine's Marco Devic appeared to cross the line before being hooked clear by England's John Terry.
"After last night's match, GLT (goal line technology) is no longer an alternative but a necessity," wrote the FIFA president, previously an opponent of the idea but who performed a U-turn following Frank Lampard's disallowed goal for England at the 2010 World Cup.
Two systems have been tested, Hawk-Eye, a British one based on cameras, and GoalRef, a Danish-German development which uses magnetic fields.
The major opponent to goal-line technology is European soccer's governing body UEFA which on Saturday asked for the final decision to be postponed.
UEFA president Michel Platini has put his faith in a five-man refereeing team which includes two assistants on the goal-line and could also be adopted by the IFAB on Thursday.