Blatter defends FIFA decision

Sepp Blatter has defended FIFA’s decision to rule out goal-line

technology on the grounds of cost and keeping the game the same

throughout all levels of football.

FIFA, supported by the Welsh and Northern Irish Football

Associations, voted at the International FA Board at the weekend to

block any further experiments with technology.

Blatter, the FIFA president, said on www.fifa.com: “The

application of modern technologies can be very costly, and

therefore not applicable on a global level.

“The universality of the game: one of the main objectives of

FIFA is to protect the universality of the game of association

football.

“This means that the game must be played in the same way no

matter where you are in the world.

“If you are coaching a group of teenagers in any small town

around the world, they will be playing with the same rules as the

professional players they see on TV.”

Blatter said goal-line technology would lead to the

introduction of video replays which would disrupt the rhythm of the

game.

He added: “If the IFAB had approved goal-line technology,

what would prevent the approval of technology for other aspects of

the game? Every decision in every area of the pitch would soon be

questioned.

“No matter which technology is applied, at the end of the day

a decision will have to be taken by a human being.

“This being the case, why remove the responsibility from the

referee to give it to someone else?

“It is often the case that, even after a slow-motion replay,

ten different experts will have 10 different opinions on what the

decision should have been.

“Fans love to debate any given incident in a game. It is part

of the human nature of our sport.”

Blatter added that FIFA’s goal is to improve the quality of

refereeing, which is why experiments such as with additional

referees or the role of the fourth official will continue.