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Page last updated at 09:38 GMT, Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Leading referee Howard Webb backs goal-line technology


Webb supports use of technology in football

One of the world's leading referees has told BBC Sport that he is in favour of seeing goal-line technology introduced.

Top Premier League referee Howard Webb, who took charge of this year's World Cup final, said that cameras on the goal-line would help improve football.

"It's got to be worth looking at to make our job on those really crucial decisions that bit easier," he said.

"I don't think you'll find many referees who say 'it's not something we want'. [But] it's difficult to do."

The International Football Association Board - the body that determines the laws of the game - will report to world governing body Fifa in March after a period of testing different goal-line technologies.

Fifa reopened discussions on the subject after ruling it out for some time, but there remains strong opposition in certain quarters.

Referee Jorge Larrionda judged that Frank Lampard's shot against Germany in the World Cup did not cross the line
This Frank Lampard shot during the World Cup was not given as a goal

Though Uefa's leading referees have collectively made clear they are in favour of goal-line technology to assist them, its sceptical president Michel Platini believes its use would lead to "Playstation football".

But the highly-respected Englishman Webb has a different view.

"It's a matter of fact whether or not all of the ball has crossed all of the goal-line between the posts and under the crossbar," he said. "Bearing in mind that's the entire aim of the sport, to score a goal.

"If we were to have some support - some assistance that was totally accurate and totally reliable - and instantaneous, then I guess it's got to be worth looking at."

The most recent high-profile example of when goal-line technology may have assisted referees in making correct decisions was during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

A long-range shot from England midfielder Frank Lampard's clearly crossed the line in a last 16 match against Germany, but referee Jorge Larrionda did not award a goal.

That incident led to a renewed calls for technology in football as the game's ruling authorities came under heavy criticism.

Webb, though, says he can understand why a quick breakthrough with the introduction of goal-line technology is not easy.

"It's difficult to do," he added.

"We sit here in 2010 and other sports have embraced certain types of technology. Football hasn't - but that tells me that's because it's really difficult, without changing the basic way the game is played. That's the fear, which I understand."

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see also
Platini issues technology warning
25 Oct 10 |  Football
Goal-line calls 'must be instant'
20 Oct 10 |  Football
Goal-line technology idea dropped
06 Mar 10 |  Football
McLeish calls for goal-line technology
06 Mar 10 |  Birmingham
Blatter confirms technology talks
11 Aug 10 |  Football
Lampard denied clear goal
27 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Goal-line technology debate rages on
29 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
PM backs calls for goal-line tech
29 Jun 10 |  Technology

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