The International Football Association Board has unanimously voted to approve goal-line technology, in a move that could put an end to crucial split-second decisions going the wrong way. The technology has been debated for years, but a series of controversies — including Marko Devic's disallowed effort for Ukraine against England during last month's Euro 2012 tournament — resulted in FIFA president Sepp Blatter finally deciding that it is "a necessity."

There are two systems that meet FIFA's standard: Hawk-Eye, which triangulates the ball's location with six cameras, and GoalRef, which places a microchip inside the ball and triggers a change in a magnetic field around the goal. Both systems transmit a goal confirmation to the referee in less than a second. According to the BBC, the FA Premier League will seek to implement the technology "as soon as practically possible," but UEFA president Michel Platini remains opposed. As such, it may be a while before we see it used in Europe-wide tournaments such as the Champions League.

Update: Hot on the heels of this announcement, Select (a company self-described as a "trailblazer" in the soccer ball industry) has announced that its Select iBall is the first "intelligent" soccer ball to be approved by FIFA. The iBall complies with FIFA's GoalRef system and is able to communicate when it crosses the goal line. The ball itself contains an internal net of copper wire which uses induction to communicate with antennas mounted to the goal frame — as soon as the entire ball passes through the goal line, referees are alerted via a signal sent to their watches and the goal can be called.