BBC Sport
Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
| Help

Last Updated: Monday, 24 October 2005, 18:14 GMT 19:14 UK
Referees want to use technology
Premiership referees are urging Fifa to introduce goal-line technology after West Ham were controversially awarded a goal against Middlesbrough on Sunday.

Chris Riggott was deemed to have scored an own goal even though replays showed keeper Mark Schwarzer had kept it out.

Fifa is currently trying to perfect a system of using a chip in the ball to determine when a goal has been scored.

Referees' chief Keith Hackett said: "I'd love to see some technology to assist us with goal-line decisions."

Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren was outraged by the decision against his team - but has since revealed that referee's assistant Ralph Bone called to apologise for his error.

The assistant referee telephoned to say sorry - it is a nice gesture but it won't get the goal wiped off
Boro boss Steve McClaren

Hackett, general manager of the Professional Game Match Official Ltd which appoints officials for Premiership games, is fully behind the Fifa initiative.

"The general feeling in football is that technology, if it was available, would assist.

"The governing body is reluctant to introduce any form of video technology and is concentrating more on goal-line technology with a chip inserted into the ball which sends out a signal.

"I am in the hands - like all of football - of Fifa who are spending a great amount of time and effort in terms of this chip in the ball to try to introduce it as quickly as possible to the top level game," he told BBC Radio Four.

Fifa carried out a trial of the goal-line technology at the Under-17 World Championship in Peru and concluded that further improvements were needed before the system could be used regularly.

The 'smartball' system will be tested again at the Fifa World Club Championship in December. If it is a success, it will probably be introduced at the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany.

The Football Association is supportive of the 'smartball' technology.

Director David Davies said: "We in England have always been more open-minded than almost anybody else on this subject.

"But I think there is unanimity that this project needs more work done on it.

"It would not be ready to use in a World Cup tomorrow for example. For me, the crucial test is whether the referees regard it as an asset or a distraction."

McClaren was furious with the goal awarded against his team - when referee Steve Bennett accepted assistant referee Bone's decision that the ball had crossed the line in the 2-1 defeat at West Ham.

"We are devastated by that decision. It is a big decision and a wrong decision. Ultimately it has cost us the game," said McClaren.

"I looked at it 20 seconds after the incident and could see clearly it was not a goal.

"All it would take was 20 seconds - by the time all the protests died down, it must have been three or four minutes. Everything could have been solved by then."

McClaren added that he had spoken to Bone since the incident.

"He telephoned to say sorry," said the Boro boss. "He admitted he had made a mistake and that is big of him.

"It is a nice gesture but it won't get the goal wiped off."

West Ham manager Alan Pardew admitted his side were fortunate to be given the goal: "I have to be honest - it was not a goal, no way."

Hammers striker Teddy Sheringham added: "It didn't look like it crossed the line to me.

"I was very close to it and very amazed the linesman had given a goal for us."

Interview: Premiership referees' chief Keith Hackett

Fifa keen on goal-line technology
03 Oct 05 |  Football
Everton 1-1 Chelsea
23 Oct 05 |  Premiership
West Ham 2-1 Middlesbrough
23 Oct 05 |  Premiership


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs


Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport