Blatter planning to introduce second referee

July 5, 2006

FIFA president Sepp Blatter wants to pursue the idea of using two referees in matches in the near future.

Several officials have come in for criticism at the World Cup in Germany with a number of high-profile incidents taking the attention away from the match itself.

Blatter believes bringing in a second referee will help eradicate mistakes and reduce controversy.

'At the beginning there was a reluctance to consider the system,' said Blatter. 'Then we had tests conducted in Malaysia and Sao Paulo, Brazil, with encouraging results, but an unsatisfactory reaction in Norway and Italy.

'But now we are facing a situation in the game where the pace is such that we must ask if there should be a further experiment.

'We observe the situation in ice hockey, for instance, with two referees and two assistants on a much smaller arena and they have no [personality] clashes with the players because they know the game.'