Rule-makers to discuss goal-line technology

ZURICH - Football's rule-making body will discuss the use of goal-line technology, players feinting in the run-up to take penalties and extra linesmen behind the goals at its meeting in March.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) will also consider changes to rules concerning the treatment of injured players, according the to agenda published by FIFA on Friday, and debate an end to automatic sendings-off for players who deny the opposition a goal-scoring chance.

Pressure has been mounting to allow the use of technology, especially after the Thierry Henry handball incident during November's World Cup qualifying play-off between France and Ireland.

Henry twice handled the ball in the run-up to France's decisive goal in their 2-1 aggregate win but the match referee did not see it.

The IFAB will also discuss the experiment in this year's Europa League, where an extra linesman has been placed behind each goal to help the referee spot infringements in the penalty area.

Feinting in the run-up to penalties - currently permitted unless the referee considers it to be unsporting behaviour - came to prominence with an ugly incident during the African Nations Cup.


Algeria goalkeeper Fawzi Chaouchi, enraged when Egypt's Hosni Abd Rabou feinted before stroking his spot-kick into the net, chased the referee, grabbed him from behind and head-butted him before being dragged away by team mates.

Referee Bonaventure Coffi Codjia was suspended for failing to dismiss Chaouchi in the incident, although the Algeria goalkeeper was later sent off for a second bookable offence in their 4-0 semi-final defeat.

Automatic sending-offs for players who deny an opponent a goalscoring chance with a foul or a handball will also be discussed.

The IFAB said the current situation constitutes a "triple punishment" of penalty, red card and suspension.

The board said it would consider changing the law which requires an injured player to be treated off the field.

It proposes to allow an exception if the injury was the result of foul play by an opponent.

"The law was implemented to discourage unnecessary time wasting or breakages in play," said the IFAB. "In general terms, this has not been successful.

"Moreover, teams who have been the victims of foul play have been unfairly disadvantaged by the enforced removal of their player, in some cases neutralising the effectiveness of the referee's original award."

Under another proposed change, stretcher-bearers - required to enter the pitch every time a doctor is required - would only come on following an indication from the referee.

The IFAB, founded in 1886 and regarded as the guardian of the rules of the game is composed of the FAs of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, each having one vote, and FIFA, which has four.

A 75 percent majority is needed for any proposal to be passed.

The meeting will be held in Zurich on March 6.