Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Blatter may examine use of techology after World Cup

FIFA president Sepp Blatter may be open to the idea of goal-line technology after the World Cup finals.

Frank Lampard's disallowed goal during England's 4-1 defeat to Germany in Sunday's World Cup second-round encounter in Bloemfontein, when the ball clearly crossed the line, has led to renewed calls for the introduction of video replays.

FIFA, who blocked any further experiments with technology at a meeting of the International FA Board in March, faced a barrage of questions on the subject at a media briefing in Johannesburg yesterday.

Sunday night's match between Argentina and Mexico had also thrown up a controversial incident, with Carlos Tevez scoring the opening goal from a blatantly offside position.

Asked about the use of technology last night, president Sepp Blatter told Sky Sports News: "Tomorrow I will have a press conference.

"We are in a World Cup. We have a principle and we cannot change the principle in the World Cup."

That could be interpreted as a hint that Blatter will be open to changes after the tournament has finished, but that would be of little consolation to those countries affected by poor decisions already.

Earlier yesterday, FIFA communications director Nicolas Maingot insisted he was "not competent" to answer questions on refereeing when asked if FIFA were embarrassed by becoming a laughing stock, nor was he the person to defend the world governing body's position on technology.

Maingot said: "The International FA Board, which FIFA is a member of along with the four British associations, dealt with this topic in March. A clear decision on the use of technology was taken at the time.

"I don't think football is very much different from other sports and not all sports have recourse to technology."

The international players' union FIFPro have added their voice to calls for technology.

Tijs Tummers, secretary of FIFPro's technical committee, said: "We can do it, the football world wants it and yet it is still being thwarted, that is unacceptable.

"The error during the Germany-England match would have been the easiest to avoid. There is not a single convincing argument against the use of goal-line technology.

"With offside incidents it is slightly more complicated, but the Argentinian goal which was allowed to stand shows the failure of the system even better.

"Technology does not undermine the authority of referees, it only helps them."

FIFA have admitted that replays of Tevez's controversial goal should not have been shown on the giant screens inside Soccer City Stadium, which prompted angry Mexico players to surround Italian referee Roberto Rosetti.

Maingot said: "There was a controversial action shown during the game on the giant screens. This should not happen.

"The giant screens are part of the infotainment but should not show controversial actions.

"It's handled by a team of colleagues from the organising committee and it has worked very well in most cases. Last night was a clear mistake.

"We will work on this and tighten up on this for the games to be played."

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