Collina takes UEFA role & backs extra officials

MILAN - Former top referee Pierluigi Collina wants to continue an experiment with goalline assistants rather than use technology when he takes control of UEFA officials.

The 50-year-old, one of football's most famous referees with his bald head and menacing stare, has left his job as head of Italian officials to take up a similar role organising referees for European competitions.

"I've decided to leave my role because I have received an important offer from UEFA," Collina, who retired from refereeing in 2005, told reporters.

Incidents at the World Cup including England's Frank Lampard having a shot cross the line not awarded as a goal have forced football authorities to reconsider the idea of using technology to clear up controversial decisions.

UEFA tested placing extra official on each goalline in last season's Europa League to check for infringements in the area and whether the ball crossed the line.

Collina backs that plan rather than a goalline camera or an electronic chip inside the ball.

"People have said that in last season's Europa League there were no controversial calls but I think it is exactly because of the extra officials in the area," he said.

"I think that some of the shock cases seen in the World Cup would have been avoided."

Marcello Nicchi, the new head of Italian referees, has said he supports the use of technology.

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