BELFAST - FIFA's rule makers proposed on Saturday to experiment with extra match officials to monitor the penalty box in one of Europe's top leagues next season but ditched the idea of a sin-bin for yellow card offenders. FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said soccer's world governing body had received letters from the French and Italian football associations expressing an interest in putting extra linesmen at each end of the pitch to help alert referees to fouls or diving in their second-tier leagues. "We will work until June to decide which league should be used for the experiment for a full season until 2010 with a view to reaching a conclusive decision in 2011," Valcke told reporters. He was speaking after a meeting of FIFA's International Football Association Board (IFAB) -- comprising the four British associations and four FIFA representatives -- which sets the rules for the world's most popular sport. Scotland's representative on the board, Gordon Smith, did not rule out using the Scottish Premier League for the experiment, but a senior English FA official told Reuters "it is highly unlikely" that any of England's leagues would allow such a test. The head of the game's European governing body UEFA, Michel Platini -- who favours the use of extra officials -- said he "was confident" the additional referees could be in place for its flagship Euro 2012 competition. Platini and FIFA president Sepp Blatter both favour such an approach instead of video replays like those used in rugby when the referee is unsure whether a try has been scored. The game's top officials say stoppages to view replays would hamper the flow of a match.
28 February 2009
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