Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Goalline technology for 2007 Club World Cup

Goalline technology will be in place in time for the 2007 Club World Cup in Tokyo, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has confirmed. The head of football's global governing body told media that a FIFA committee was assessing various forms of technology but that whatever they plump for will be operational at the event next December. FIFA is studying camera-based goalline technology as well as a "smartball" containing a computer chip. The "smartball" was used at the under-17 world championship in Peru last year. The ball contains an electronic chip that sends a signal to the referee via a wristband or earpiece indicating when the whole ball has crossed the line.

"Next year we will conduct experiments in youth competitions (in Canada and South Korea)," Blatter said, as quoted by Zee News. "By December 2007 I am convinced we will be able to use one of them (forms of technology)." However he ruled out any use of instant-replays. "Video like this would take away the spontaneity and what is fantastic about football," Blatter said. "We want to keep the human element."

A result of keeping the "human element" was that mistakes would continue to occur, Blatter conceded, and he called for more respect for referees from players. "It begins with education," he said. "We must educate our young players to respect the referees. Referees are an important part of our sport."

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