Decades after the invention of spy satellites capable of detecting a golf ball from outer space, referees may soon be equipped with technology that will enable them to tell if a football has crossed the goal-line.
After years of debate which has moved at a glacial pace, world football chiefs are close to sanctioning goal-line technology after a string of high-profile refereeing controversies.
FIFA's rules body -- the International Football Association Board (IFAB) -- is expected to give the thumbs up to goal-line technology at a meeting in Kiev in July following the European Championships.
IFAB is currently assessing two different systems bidding to be approved as authorised suppliers of goal-line technology, one from British company Hawk-Eye and the other from German-Danish firm GoalRef.
Both companies' systems are undergoing rigorous testing ahead of the IFAB meeting, and Hawk-Eye will be used in a live match situation on Wednesday when Eastleigh and AFC Totton face each other in the Hampshire Senior Cup final.
Former English referee Neale Barry, a member of the IFAB sub-committee assessing the relative merits of the systems, believes the use of goal-line technology is inevitable.
Barry attended testing at Southampton's St Mary's stadium, which will host Wednesday's match, and is keen for referees to be given the support of technology.
"The international board first started looking at the technology in 2005," Barry told reporters. "The technology has moved on greatly since then when you look at Hawk-Eye and the quality of their cameras.
"I think really there has been the attitude that we should really try to help the referees for this very, very factual decision.
"The ball is either over the line or it isn't. It is not a matter of opinion - it is a matter of fact."