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Video technology debate

FIFA reiterates opposition to technology

June 28, 2010
By Soccernet staff

FIFA has rejected calls for the introduction of technology despite two controversial incidents during Sunday's second round matches which led to almost universal calls for world football's governing body to review the situation.

Sepp Blatter
GettyImagesFIFA chief Sepp Blatter watches the controversy unfold from his VIP box.

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In England's match with Germany a goal which clearly crossed the line was not given, while in the Argentina-Mexico game a goal was allowed despite replays being shown inside the stadium as the hapless officials conferred to discuss the situation which showed the scorer was obviously offside.

But at a press conference in Johannesburg, FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said that the use of video technology was "definitely not on the table" claiming a "zero-fault" system was not possible.

"We can talk about refereeing decisions which, when you looked at them after the game, you could say were perhaps not good decisions," Valcke said. "We didn't say you could have a zero-fault system in the World Cup. Additional assistants [referees] could happen in 2014 to make sure these kind of things are not happening in refereeing.

"It doesn't mean the use of video, that is definitely not on the table today, but one thing we are discussing is two additional assistants to support referees to make decision-making easier and to have more eyes helping him to make such decisions. We knew this is where criticism would come."

FIFA communications director Nicolas Maingot faced some tough questions in his daily media briefing on Monday but refused to drawn on the subject of technology and refereeing, claiming he was "not competent'' to answer questions

Maingot said: "There are some questions on technology and additional assistant referee experiments and the International FA Board meeting in March took a stance on goal-line technology.

"We will not enter into any debate on refereeing at the daily media briefing. I am not competent to do so.

"The International FA Board, which FIFA is a member of along with the four British associations, dealt with this topic in March. A clear decision on the use of technology was taken at the time.

"I don't think football is very much different from other sports and not all sports have recourse to technology.''

FIFA ruled out the use of technology at the March meeting, voting 6-2 against. Valke and FIFA's under-fire president Sepp Blatter both came out in favour of retaining the current system.

Blatter, who is one of the most vociferous opponents of the introduction of technology, was in the Free State Stadium to witness Frank Lampard's not-given goal and had to squirm in his VIP box as replays showed the incident time and time again and the crowd vented its fury.

"No matter which technology is applied, at the end of the day a decision will have to be taken by a human being," Blatter said in March. "This being the case, why remove the responsibility from the referee to give it to someone else? It is often the case that, even after a slow-motion replay, ten different experts will have ten different opinions on what the decision should have been. Fans love to debate any given incident in a game. It is part of the human nature of our sport."