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Alex McLeish blasts Fifa on goal-line technology ruling


McLeish calls for goal-line technology

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish is disappointed with the International Football Association Board's decision to rule out using goal-line technology.

Shortly after the Fifa-backed IFAB ruling, a Liam Ridgewell header that had crossed the line was disallowed in the Blues' FA Cup defeat at Portsmouth.

"It is frustrating. They're doing their officials a disservice," said McLeish.

Former Premier League referee Graham Poll said the decision reflected a "level of arrogance" within the game.

Poll told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek he was disappointed but not surprised by the decision.

"It's the same as experimenting with things like sin bins, they say 'oh that's a rugby idea, we wouldn't do that'. We have to be different, we're football," he said.

"I've spoken to Dr Paul Hawkins who developed Hawk-Eye and it is clear that technology, which has been tested in Premier League grounds, in Premier League training grounds, to the satisfaction of the Premier League, is available and would help match officials."

Poll went on to defend assistant Adam Watts who was at Fratton Park on Saturday, saying: "I don't think many people would have been 100% confident that the ball was over the line when they saw it at full speed the first time.

"It's not helping match officials by not brining new technology in.

"The time has surely come that we need to help officials and I can guarantee that the referee and the assistant driving home from the Portsmouth match will have been very sad they missed that goal."

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

France striker Thierry Henry's handball in the build-up to the equalising goal against the Republic of Ireland in Paris in November helped his country to qualify for the World Cup.

Raymond Kennedy, president of the Irish Football Association, Northern Ireland, said there had not been enough controversial goals to warrant introducing new technology.

"If you were to take the FA Cup as an example, that has teams right from the very bottom and if you were to use [goal-line technology] in that competition you would have to have that installed in many of the smaller grounds," he told Sportsweek.

"I happen to believe that the extra officials, maybe brought in at a latter stage, does much more than goal-line technology. They are there, they will see the fouls that go in the penalty area.

"We believe our game is played by humans and we want human eyeballs to decide whether it is a goal or not. There will be mistakes, people thrive in the controversy of football."

Former Rangers boss McLeish believed technology needed to be introduced when the stakes were so high.

"I know you can't stop every part of the game but certainly for key decisions in a major competition like the FA Cup, your chances of getting to semi-finals and finals are few and far between for a little club like us," added the Scot.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger described the IFAB's move as "beyond comprehension".

"For me, it is difficult to understand, for one reason because you want as much justice as possible," said the Gunners boss.

"I do not even think it is linked with the money factor. If you love football you want the right decisions to be made.

"There was an incident again at the Portsmouth game and I just do not understand why we rule that out."

Football's lawmakers reached the decision after watching presentations of two systems, Cairos - which uses a chip inserted in a ball, and Hawk-Eye - used in tennis and cricket.


And the company behind the development of the chip technology have voiced their exasperation over the IFAB vote.

Cairos marketing director Oliver Braun said: "It's frustrating for us because we have developed this system over so many years. IFAB encouraged us to develop the system.

"They set up some criteria and said if they were met they would go with the technology. For them to come back and say in principle they don't want to use any technology, that's frustrating.

"If they said that before it would have saved a lot of time, effort and money.

"The solution to these incidents is here - it's not an issue that the technology isn't working. The technology is working, but they don't want to use it."

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see also
Goal-line technology idea dropped
06 Mar 10 |  Football
Grant salutes Portsmouth spirit
06 Mar 10 |  Portsmouth
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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