Technology back on IFAB agenda

ZURICH - Goal-line technology will be back on the agenda when football's rule-making body meets on Saturday following a series of high-profile refereeing controversies.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) will be presented with two possible systems although officials are in no hurry to implement technology and its use at this year's World Cup is out of the question.

The IFAB will consider an end to automatic sendings-off when a player denies the opposition a clear scoring chance, believing the current system constitutes a "triple punishment" of penalty, red card and automatic suspension for the offender.

Penalty-takers could be banned from feinting in their run-up under another proposed change and the board will also review the experiment in this year's Europa League where one extra linesman has been placed behind each goal to help the referee spot infringements.

UEFA president Michel Platini is optimistic that extra linesmen could make the use of technology unnecessary.

Football's governing body FIFA has come under intense pressure to help referees, whose mistakes are cruelly exposed by television replays from varying angles.

One of the most high-profile cases was the Thierry Henry handball incident during November's World Cup qualifying play-off between France and Ireland, and there were two more major rows involving referees in the Champions League last month.


"This is a never-ending story. It is not terrible. It is what can happen in football," FIFA president Sepp Blatter said recently.

"It is not a case of me and Michel Platini being stubborn. We need to see a system which is accurate but which must also be immediate."

General secretary Jerome Valcke echoed Blatter's comments.

"Nothing will change at the World Cup. We cannot use the World Cup to test things," he said.

"It's too late now to change the system. We have been working with our referees for more than two years now and they are the best trios. Plus, there is no proposal in place at the moment which completely guarantees that a switch to another system would be without problems.

The IFAB will be shown presentations of the the Kairos system, which uses a chip inserted in the ball, and the Hawkeye system used in tennis and cricket.

Technology has been discussed by the IFAB before - the Kairos system was tested at the world under-17 championship in Peru in 2005 - but was put on ice. Platini, meanwhile, has put his faith in the use of extra linesman.

The IFAB, founded in 1886 and seen as the guardian of the rules of the game, is composed of the representatives from the FAs of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, each having one vote.

FIFA has four votes and a 75 percent majority is needed for any proposal to be passed.

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