Will FIFA change with the times?
By Peter Auf der Heyde and Manuel Schwarz Mar 3, 2011, 11:40 GMT
Berlin - Cricket fans watching the current World Cup games in Southern Asia will have seen how modern technology is being used to determine whether a batsman is out or not.
Later this year when the rugby World Cup is hosted in New Zealand, similar technology will be used to ensure that the referees get it right all the time.
Had football's governing body FIFA used similar methods last year, England may be world champions instead of Spain.
Frank Lampard's shot in the round-of-16 match crossed the goal-line off the underside of the bar, but that went unnoticed by the match officials.
Germany went on to win 4-1, but had the goal counted England would have fought from 2-0 down to 2-2 and the game may have seen a different outcome.
Football supremo Joseph Blatter has been on record as saying that goal-line technology would not be used in football, but a while later he said that it might.
Forced by an ever-growing call to move with the times, the antiquated body that determines the rules under which the Beautiful Game is played, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), has said that it would consider goal-line technology.
After the furore at the World Cup, IFAB - which consists of four members of FIFA, as well as a representative each from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales - said it would invite 10 companies to test their technology systems.
The report of these tests, which were conducted between February 7 and 13 by the Zurich-based research institution EMPA is to be presented at the 125th IFAB Annual General Meeting, which will be held on Saturday in Newport, Wales.
The world body has ensured that the findings of the tests are not released ahead of the meeting and refused to comment on a report in the Guardian newspaper that all goal-line systems had failed.
Former German FIFA referee Herbert Fandel is a proponent of the discussion surrounding goal-line technology.
'I think it is good that the discussion around technology continues,' he told the German Press Agency dpa.
Fandel, who believes that a chip should be inserted in the ball to ascertain whether it has crossed the line or not, said: 'It would be good if referees know 100 per cent.'
FIFA has already said that the only way they would accept goal- line technology was if it was 100 per cent accurate and very fast to enable the referee to know within a second.
FIFA has also said that the agenda for the meeting contains seven proposals and amendments related to football laws, with one of them proposing that last-man offences in the penalty area no longer be punished with a red card.
The meeting will also receive an update on the status of the Additional Assistant Referees experiment, including the request by UEFA to use additional assistant referees for Euro 2012.
Other issues to be addressed are: where advertising boards are to be placed, the continuation of play when the ball is damaged during a free-kick, the colour of long pants that players wear under their shorts and instructions for the referees what do do when a second ball, another object or an animal is on the field.
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