2014 World Cup seeing extra referees but not goal-line technology
The World Cup will not see goal-line technology when Brazil play host in 2014 but refereeing there is set to benefit from the additional assistants being trialled in Europe’s club competitions.
This was the likely timeline which emerged in South Wales when football's law-makers approved the extra officials for the finals of Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine . . . but offered companies promoting goal-line technology ‘only’ a further year to demonstration testing.
These were the most significant conclusion of the 125-year-old International Football Association Board at its annual meeting at Celtic Manor, South Wales, today.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter, confirming the board’s approval of additional assistants in 2012, said: “It promises a positive result for Euro 2012 and I would say, with a lot of optimism, that I’m looking forward to having additional officials at the 2014 World Cup finals.
“If it works at Euro 2012 then the board will say Yes and, in that case, there is no problem for the 2014 World Cup. But while I am very optimistic about additional referees I have to restrict my natural optimism on goal-line technology because the tests have not been conclusive.”
The extra officials system – one behind each goal-line – was promoted intensively by UEFA president Michel Platini and is on long-term trial in both Champions League and Europa League. It found particular favour with Blatter who had long been on record as an opponent of technological assistance.
Two years ago the International Board took the ‘rival solution’ of goal-line technology off its agenda. This followed a number of inconclusive tests. After a storm at the 2010 World Cup, when Frank Lampard had a ‘phantom goal’ denied against Germany, Blatter agreed to revisit goal-line technology.
He said today: “After what happened so blatantly in the last World Cup – an immense error – we invited 13 different companies to present and, finally, last month, 10 of them were represented. We used a special assessment in the Swiss federal laboratories; the results were not totally conclusive but at least three of the 10 companies have a good chance to go forward.”
The second-phase testing, in match situations, is also likely to include Hawkeye – the Wimbledon tennis system - though it had declined the most recent Zurich opportunity. FIFA funded the testing but not development.