Football's world governing body FIFA has agreed to allow the introduction of goal-line technology (GLT) at a meeting of the sport's executives here on Thursday.
The technology will be used at the Club World Cup in Tokyo in December, the Confederation Cup in 2013 and also the World Cup in 2014.
The decision by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) -- custodians of the game's laws -- followed a vote at the Zurich headquarters of FIFA, the international association of football federations.
It means footballing authorities around the world can introduce the technology into their competitions, using either the Hawk-Eye or GoalRef systems that have been undergoing tests.
The English Premier League, the world's richest football league, welcomed IFAB's decision.
"The Premier League has been a long-term advocate of goal line technology," the EPL said in a statement.
"We will engage in discussions with both Hawk-Eye and GoalRef in the near future with a view to introducing goal-line technology as soon as is practically possible."
The development comes after FIFA president Sepp Blatter lent his weight to calls for the technology to be introduced after Ukraine was denied an apparent goal against England in the recent Euro 2012 championships, losing 1-0.
"After last night's match (GLT) is no longer an alternative, but a necessity," Blatter Tweeted.
Replays showed that Marko Devic's shot in the 62nd minute had crossed the goal line before being cleared by England defender John Terry.
FA general secretary Alex Horne told a news conference in Zurich it was "a hugely important day" for football.
He said: "We believe that it is a great day for football. From an English perspective today is a hugely important day, it is a cause we have had on our agenda for a number of years.
"This is about having the right technology helping the referee in a relatively rare occurrence - the scoring of a goal."
Fans have called for years for the football world to embrace technology which would eliminate human error, citing its use in other sports including tennis and cricket.
But opponents to GLT included UEFA president Michel Platini, who said he preferred the system of five match officials, implemented for the first time at the Ukrainian championships and also agreed on by IFAB at Zurich.
Prior to the IFAB vote on GLT, even Platini stated that he expected it to get the go-ahead.
Individual associations may yet decide whether to use the technology in their competitions. That means UEFA could still decide not to implement the system.
GoalRef utilises magnetic fields to determine whether a ball has crossed the line while the Hawk-Eye system is based on the use of cameras.
The two goal-line technology systems both made it through to the final stages of FIFA's testing process in March this year.
Approval was also given on Thursday to the five-referee method of officiating matches after a meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB).
The referee and two linesmen will be aided by two further officials posted behind each team's goalline to keep an eye on action in and around the critical penalty box area should tournament organisers want it, IFAB announced.
FIFA has been trialling the "Additional Assitant Referee" system since 2008 and it was in use during the recently-finished Euro 2012 as well as the Champions League.