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Last Updated: Friday, 14 March 2008, 17:09 GMT
Fifa dismisses goal-line trials
Fifa president Sepp Blatter
Blatter has long been against technology in football
Fifa president Sepp Blatter says goal-line technology experiments were stopped because of reliability issues and its unsuitability for football.

Football's law makers ordered a freeze on tests earlier this month, despite the English Football Association and Premier League chiefs backing the idea.

The English had hoped to introduce the 'Hawkeye' system in 2009.

Fifa chose instead to push ahead with trialling an assistant referee behind each goal.

"Both the football committee, chaired by Franz Beckenbauer, and the technical committee supported the International FA Board," said Blatter.

"They said, 'why should we resort to really complicated goal-line technology such as the microchip in the ball that works in 95% of the cases but not 100%, or the famous Hawkeye which is appropriate for tennis as the players can stop the game to challenge the decision?'."


Speaking earlier this month at the annual meeting of Fifa's International FA Board (IFAB) in Gleneagles, FA chief executive Brian Barwick, who supported the experiments, admitted: "The idea is now dead in the water.

"We are very disappointed.

"The FA has always been in the vanguard of wanting to help the referee and the assistant referee make the right decisions. We've always been champions of this.

"We were in favour of goal-line technology but there will be no more experiments and it will not be back on the agenda next year, or in the foreseeable future."

The English Premier League had been big advocates of goal-line technology.

The clubs had been driving this and they had been more anxious than anyone to have a system in place... the referees were all in favour as well

Premier League general secretary Mike Foster

General secretary Mike Foster insisted: 'It is not the finished product, but I've seen enough of it to have confidence that it will do the job.

"The clubs had been driving this and they had been more anxious than anyone to have a system in place. The referees were all in favour as well."

The IFAB's technical committee witnessed tests at Reading's Madejski Stadium in February and had been considering two technological systems:

  • a "smart" ball with a microchip developed by adidas and the German company Cairo;
  • and a camera-based system developed by the Hawkeye company, whose system is used in tennis and cricket.

However, Blatter has long been against using technology in the game while the Welsh FA were also against the idea.

Jerome Valcke, Fifa's general secretary, said experiments using the additional linesmen, proposed by Uefa president Michel Platini, would now take place in either a Uefa or Fifa tournament later this year.

We have invested an awful lot of money and now we have no return on that... I am livid

Paul Hawkins, managing director of Hawkeye

"We have decided to freeze the goal-line technology and all experiments," Valcke confirmed.

"We will look at two additional referees and avoid considering any goal line technology during this time."

Paul Hawkins, managing director of Hawkeye, said: "I am gobsmacked and it's completely out of the blue.

"A year ago they seemed to want it. We have invested an awful lot of money and now we have no return on that. I am livid."

The IFAB, formed in 1886, determines the laws of the game and comprises delegates from the four British associations and four from Fifa. Proposals need a three-quarter-majority vote to be approved.

The IFAB also agreed to standardise the dimensions of a pitch used for full international men's matches to 105 x 68 metres.

FA to ponder goal-line technology
19 Aug 07 |  Football
Football turns to technology
18 Jul 07 |  Football
Premier League in Hawk-Eye trials
08 Jul 07 |  Premier League
Blatter eyes goal-line technology
27 Nov 06 |  Football
SFA green light to tackle cheats
08 Mar 08 |  Football


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