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Soccer law-makers discuss trials of goal-line technology

posted 5 Mar 2011, 04:05 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 5 Mar 2011, 04:07 ]

Soccer's law-making body meets with goal-line technology on the agenda.

Soccer's law-making body gathered at the Celtic Manor resort in Wales on Saturday (March 5) to evaluate recent experiments with goal-line technology systems.

A proposal for further testing is on the agenda but there is still a long way to go before any hi-tech device helps a referee make a decision.

A year after goal-line technology was rejected by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the item is back on the agenda following tests carried out at FIFA's headquarters in Zurich under the auspices of the Swiss-based technology research institute EMPA.

Although the systems trialed failed FIFA's stringent tests last month, there has been a notable shift in the board's attitude towards using a hi-tech system.

The issue was resurrected by FIFA president Sepp Blatter when England were denied a goal against Germany in last year's World Cup finals when a shot from Frank Lampard clearly crossed the line.

IFAB, which consists of four officials from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland plus four from FIFA representing the other 204 member nations, is the ultimate guardian of the laws of the game and is a famously conservative body.

Any new proposal needs six votes to pass into law and in the past the Northern Ireland and Wales FAs have joined FIFA in opposing the official introduction of goal-line technology.

Sources close to world soccer's governing body told Reuters all ten companies which took part in the trials failed to meet FIFA's criteria, but that does not mean experiments will cease as FIFA is now willing to embrace a system if it can deliver a verdict to the referee within one second.

President of UEFA Michel Platini is at the meeting. He is a staunch opponent of goal-line technology, favouring extra officials standing at the goal-line instead.

While the debate about goal-line technology is again the main item on the agenda, IFAB is also considering other proposals and is likely to allow UEFA to continue with its five-man match official system at next year's European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.

Other proposed law-changes relate to objects on the field, including extra balls and animals, players wearing snoods and coloured tights plus referees using "vanishing spray" to mark where defensive walls stand.

The Celtic Manor resort is the same venue where the European Ryder Cup team beat the U.S. team last October.