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Switzerland

Goaaaaaal!!?????? World Soccer Chiefs Bicker Over Official Use Of Instant Replay

With a final decision looming, FIFA President Sepp Blatter has reversed his longstanding opposition to using instant replay to help referees. But other soccer officials oppose the idea, like UEFA President Michel Platini and German legend Franz Beckenbaur

Crossing the line? (Goose#19)
Crossing the line? (Goose#19)
Simon Meier


ZURICH - It seems paradoxical that soccer, a sport where cameras are always welcome, is having an identity crisis over the implementation of a video system, believed to be simple and reliable, to determine whether or not the ball has crossed the goal line.

The technology seems necessary in light of recent refereeing mistakes, most notably the England-Germany game in the last World Cup when Frank Lampard's 2-2 equalizer for England was refused by the referee despite instant replay showing the ball clearly crossing the line. Even Sepp Blatter, President of FIFA, world soccer's governing body, a longtime critic of official instant replay, has had a change of heart: "The 2014 World Cup will use instant replay in order to avoid ghost goals."

Mistakes make emotions?

Most soccer insiders, as well as fans, have welcomed the decision. Modern soccer, with its financial stakes, can no longer afford to leave the outcome of a game to fate or the flawed decision of a human referee.

But Michel Platini, Europe's top soccer official, and Blatter's likely successor, has remained openly opposed to the use of technology during games. The French soccer legend believes in human decisions, and has long been calling for two extra referees on the field behind the goal line. Another soccer legend, Germany's Franz Beckenbauer followed Platini's lead saying "soccer is a simple game with simple rules which lives on emotion." The International Football Association Board, which has finally say on soccer's global rules, is slated to choose between reliable refereeing and emotions in March.

Read the original article in French

Photo - Goose#19

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