Referees ready for technology if approved

PRETORIA - International referees are ready to include goalline technology in their arsenal if it would make them more credible and is approved by FIFA, they said on Tuesday.

Only hours after world football's governing body president Sepp Blatter apologised for refereeing mistakes that have blighted the World Cup, the referees said they could only use what FIFA had ordered.

"I am open-minded for anything that would make us more credible," referee Howard Webb told reporters after a World Cup referees' training session in Pretoria. "Whatever tools I have I will use to the best of my abilities.

"I was a policeman and I enforced the law of the land but I did not make the law. We will be watching this space with interest," Webb said.

England and Mexico were the victims of blatant mistakes in their second round matches on Sunday, prompting a fierce call for the use of technology, which FIFA has long resisted.

The first incident came in Sunday's England-Germany match at Bloemfontein when a shot from England midfielder Frank Lampard struck Germany's crossbar and bounced down well over the line when England, chasing a comeback, were 2-1 down.

Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda waved play on and Germany went on to win the match 4-1.

In the later game, Mexico had been enjoying the better of the match against Argentina when Carlos Tevez opened the scoring from a clearly offside position, setting Diego Maradona's side on their way to a 3-1 win, with Italian referee Roberto Rosetti letting the goal stand.


Neither of the two referees involved in those games appeared at the training session with throngs of reporters waiting.

"They have a recovery session and they decided not to be here for personal reasons," said FIFA's head of refereeing Jose Maria Garcia-Aranda.

He did not disclose what FIFA discussed with the two referees after their matches.

"This is an internal matter. But we have been talking about these technical matters," Garcia-Aranda said, adding he fully supported the referees' work at the World Cup.

"My opinion is that referees are taking decisions according to what they have seen on the field of play.

"We have to talk about the 54 matches and the decisions the referees have been taking. Nobody is talking about the excellent goals that have been allowed because of excellent decisions."

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