Blatter: Suarez handball could prompt rules change

Published Jul. 8, 2010 5:57 p.m. ET

FIFA will look at changing football's rules after a goal-line handball by Uruguay striker Luis Suarez denied Ghana a place in the World Cup semifinals.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Thursday that changes can be considered at an October meeting of its rules-making panel.

``We can take on such situations we have witnessed during this competition, specifically .... the issue of the player Suarez on the goal-line in the 122nd minute of the match between Uruguay and Ghana.''

Suarez was shown a red card but his action provoked condemnation for being seen to unfairly keep his side in the match.

Ghana missed the ensuing penalty with the last kick and Uruguay won their quarterfinal in a shootout.

A FIFA-imposed, one-match ban for Suarez was then viewed as inadequate because he would have been eligible to play in the final. Uruguay lost to the Netherlands in the semifinals.

However, Blatter dismissed the possible creation of a rule to award ``penalty goals'' when handballs clearly prevented a score, likely limiting the panel's scope to review disciplinary sanctions.


``You have seen in this competition and in others that it's so difficult to say if a ball is in or out,'' he said. ``But when a ball is not in, definitely, no referee can declare that it is a goal.''

The FIFA president said the panel - known as the International Football Association Board - will reopen a shelved debate on giving referees technical aids to decide when a ball crosses the goal-line.

``It will be in October that we are going to discuss the question of goal-line technology,'' he said.

Blatter has previously blocked the issue at IFAB, but put the subject back in play after England was denied a potentially game-changing goal in its second-round defeat to Germany.

At a news briefing on Thursday, Blatter said he was not ``just satisfying problems that have arisen during this competition.''