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Football's lawmakers reject goal-line technology

Thierry Henry handles the ball in the build up to France's goal
Henry handles in the build-up to his side's decisive goal in Paris

The International Football Association Board has ruled out the use of goal-line technology and video replays.

"The door is closed. The decision was not to use technology at all," said Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke.

The decision was reached after watching presentations of two systems, Cairos - a chip inserted in a ball, and Hawk-Eye - used in tennis and cricket.

The Football Association and Scottish Football Association had both voted in favour of further experiments.

FA chief executive Ian Watmore was outvoted after the Irish FA and Welsh FA voted in line with Fifa.

"In the end it came down to a difference of opinion about whether you believe the future of football involves technology or not," said Watmore.

"We had supported the idea of investigating experiments into the use of technology on goal-lines and we would like to have seen it.

"But some of the arguments were very powerful and persuasive and we have to accept them."

Fifa has been under increasing pressure to use some form of technology to eliminate mistakes which are highlighted by TV replays.


The most high-profile case was a handball by France striker Thierry Henry in the build-up to the equalising goal against the Republic of Ireland in Paris which earned his country World Cup qualification in November.

And just hours after the IFAB's annual general meeting in Zurich, Birmingham's Liam Ridgewell had a headed goal disallowed in his side's 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Portsmouth on Saturday - despite replays clearly showing the ball crossed the line before David James blocked it.

Valcke added: "Technology should not enter into the game, It was a clear statement made by the majority of the IFAB.

"Let's keep the game of football as it is."

IFAB is made up of representatives of the four British football associations, while Fifa hold four votes. Changes to the laws of the game must be approved by at least six votes.

Explaining his opposition to technology, Jonathan Ford, chief executive of the Football Association of Wales, said: "I was worried that you would end up with a stop-start situation where you review all decisions and I don't see that as part of the game."

Patrick Nelson, chief executive of the Irish FA, also backed Fifa's position.

"We very much appreciate the human side of the game, the debate, the controversy, that's why the board has taken this decision," he said.

IFAB, though, left open the possibility of using an extra official behind each goal - a system which has been trialled this season in the Europa League.

A special IFAB meeting will be held on May 17-18 to decide whether this system is used worldwide from next season.

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see also
Lack of technology angers McLeish
07 Mar 10 |  Football
Portsmouth 2-0 Birmingham
06 Mar 10 |  FA Cup
Players cool over Uefa ref scheme
04 Mar 10 |  Europe
Henry escapes ban over handball
18 Jan 10 |  World Cup 2010
Go-ahead for goal-line technology
03 Mar 07 |  Football
Fifa dismisses goal-line trials
14 Mar 08 |  Football
FA to ponder goal-line technology
19 Aug 07 |  Football
Fifa ponders goal-line technology
22 Feb 06 |  Europe
Goal-line technology set for test
01 Sep 05 |  Football
Goal-line technology trial widens
21 Nov 06 |  Football
Fifa to discuss goal-line trial
11 Dec 07 |  Football

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