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Page last updated at 16:25 GMT, Saturday, 11 October 2008 17:25 UK

Uefa trials multi-referee system

Michel Platini
Uefa president Michel Platini watched the experiment

Uefa is looking at a new refereeing system whereby the referee is helped by four rather than two assistants.

Europe's governing body has been trialling the idea at an Under-19 tournament in Slovenia where two extra assistants were behind the goalline.

"The goal is to have one referee with more eyes," Uefa president Michel Platini told the Uefa website.

"We do not want to change the philosophy of the game - we do not want to have two or three referees."

We had three pairs of eyes on the penalty box

Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli
Northern Ireland referee Mark Courtney, who took charge of the Slovakia and Armenia game using the new system, welcomed the experiment.

"The important thing for the match officials is to always make the correct decision," said Courtney.

"With this system, we can quickly receive additional information from the additional referees, which we can consider as part of the thought process to make the final decision."

Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli, who officiated the Norway and Slovenia game, was impressed by the additional assistance he had in making penalty-box decisions.

"We had three pairs of eyes on the penalty box, which is very important," said Rizzoli.

The event in Slovenia, which is for the Group Five qualifiers for the Uefa European Under-19 Championship, runs until Wednesday.

Further trials are planned for Groups One and Seven, in Hungary and Cyprus, later this year.

see also
Fifa to try 'penalty box official'
24 Jun 02 |  Other News
World's worst refereeing decisions
05 Jan 05 |  Football

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