FIFA embraces goal-line technology and professional referees

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter expects goal-line technology to be introduced next season and it also should be featured at the next World Cup in 2014, along with professional referees.
Speaking in various newspaper interviews published recently, Blatter said that FIFA is finally ready to make use of goal-line technology, pending approval next year. "You must allow at least one of those aids and that is goal-line technology. There are systems that combine accuracy, speed and are straightforward. We are ready to use this technique", Blatter told Germany 's Bild. Blatter, 75, reiterated that the International Football Association Board is to reach a decision on the technology in March and that it can be used from the 2012-13 season onward if approved. "FIFA cannot accept again what happened in South Africa : a ball that was 70 centimeters in goal was called out", Blatter told Italy 's La Gazzetta dello Sport.
UEFA President Michel Platini spoke of his preference for human eyes over technology during the European football governing body's Executive Committee meeting, claiming UEFA's solution of putting two extra officials behind the goal was preferable to going down the route of electronic aids. Blatter, however, said the extra officials are too costly for many poorer countries. "We put (extra) human eyes to see if the ball has gone in. I like the five officials because it's a human system", said Platini. "If you ask (UEFA referees chief Pierluigi) Collina, he will tell you that many good decisions have been taken that way. I understand that FIFA says it will cost too much but in any case it's not video refereeing, it's just on the goal-line. I'm not sure technology is important in such cases. If you consider the World Cup in 2010 and 1966, that's two cases. All that technology to use it twice in 40 years". Platini was referring to two matches between England and Germany . England won the World Cup final at Wembley 4-2 in 1966, but debate still rages over whether their third goal, scored by Geoff Hurst, actually crossed the line. And then last year, Germany were the beneficiaries of a poor decision when a shot from Frank Lampard clearly went a foot or two over the line in their last-16 match but was not given. While both of those were very high-profile cases, Platini fears that introducing goal-line technology would lead to other areas also becoming affected by technology. "What scares me is that if we start to use technology for things that have little point, we will also move onto off-side technology, because there are five off-sides per match", he said. "FIFA will decide, but I have the right to disagree and I don't think it's a good idea”, said Platini.
If approved and successful, the technology will also be used at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil , for which Blatter also announced professional referees. "We at FIFA will only use professional referees for the 2014 World Cup," Blatter said. The remark came in response to whether the pressure on those involved in the game was becoming too big, with Wales manager Gary Speed taking his life and German referee Babak Rafaki attempting suicide. "We must be careful concerning sweeping statements. I don't want to blame anyone for the suicide of coaches or referees. But you can say in general terms: yes, there is too much pressure on referees. Why? Because there are federations, such as the German one, which don't have professionals. You are no longer nominated if you make two or three mistakes. You are paid per game. There is fear for existence as well. That is a problem you have to tackle in Germany . The Italians, French, English have professional referees and they are doing everything right. It cannot be that referees are back at their desk a day after a match. They need security, professional contracts. In this way they will also be respected more by fans and players", said Blatter.

Source: The Associated Press