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Blatter on the defensive

Tech discussion set for October

July 9, 2010
By Soccernet staff

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said the decision on technology in football has been put back to October while also defending the Jabulani ball and ruling out 'penalty goals'.

Brazil 2014, Sepp Blatter
GettyImagesFIFA's Sepp Blatter (R) joins Brazilian officials at the unveiling of the 2014 World Cup logo

Speaking at the launch of the Brazil 2014 World Cup logo, which was attended by Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Blatter was bombarded with a string of questions surrounding some of the negative talking points to come out of the 2010 tournament in South Africa.

Officiating has come under the spotlight as unprecedented television coverage has exposed a series of crucial errors by referees, not least of which Frank Lampard's 'goal' against Germany which was missed by the officials but could easily have been spotted using goal-line technology.

FIFA has softened its stance on the use of technology since the second round incident, although Blatter said the discussion of the use of Hawk-Eye or a similar technology by football's law-making body IFAB would have to wait until October, not July as first planned.

Blatter stated that the concept of 'penalty goals' would not be entertained. Some observers have called for a rugby-style ruling in which the referee could award a goal if one has been illegally denied such as by Uruguay's Luis Suarez with his goal-line handball against Ghana in the quarter-finals.

Blatter said: "That meeting in October is when we will discuss the question of goal-line technology and take on such situations as we have witnessed in this competition with Suarez in the last minute of the match between Uruguay and Ghana. You have seen in this competition and in others that it's so difficult to say if a ball is in or out. But if it is not in, then no referee can declare it is a goal. This is definite.

"The international board will reopen the discussion on the technology but this is not just to satisfy problems that have come up during this competition. We have already received from different parties new approaches to how such technology could be installed and the easiest way [to do so]. We will have a meeting on 20 July in Cardiff and this meeting will not deal with goal-line technology but will put it on the agenda for the normal business meeting in October."

Meanwhile, Blatter has defended the "wonderful" Jabulani ball after Australia's former Liverpool striker Craig Johnston sent the FIFA boss a 12-page open letter criticising the ball and the unprecedented number of mistakes it has caused in the World Cup.

"We are listening to what they said, but this is a wonderful ball," Blatter told Australian broadcaster SBS. "It's a good ball and those (teams) they use these balls the right way and keep it on the field of play (have been successful). Keeping the ball on the field like Germany, like Spain and also Holland, but when naturally, you play kick and rush, then it's difficult to control this ball."

Meanwhile, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has given the strongest indication yet that goal-line technology could be brought into the game.

He said: "Goal-line technology is something you can use because it gives definitely the chance for the referee to understand the ball is in when he cannot always see it, as we have seen during this World Cup. That's an alternative we can work on for the future.

"There is a real chance. I think the system we have today will not be the same in 2014. If you have a system which gives you the chance to make sure that, if the ball is in, the referee should know it and should just give the goal, that's something which has to be done.

"I have no problem with that. The goal-line technology, I don't think that's a big deal. I'm personally against the video (replays) - that's as a fan, I'm not talking as the secretary general of FIFA. As a fan I don't think the video is good for the game. I think it would kill the game.''