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Platini stands firm against goal-line technology

A FIFA official holds a watch used in a goal-line technology system by the FIFA-selected provider GoalRef, which is being used at the Club World Cup in Japan.

A FIFA official holds a watch used in a goal-line technology system by the FIFA-selected provider GoalRef, which is being used at the Club World Cup in Japan.

UEFA president Michel Platini yesterday stood firm against the use of goal-line technology in Europe despite FIFA tests of Hawk-Eye and GoalRef at the ongoing Club World Cup in Japan.

The Frenchman said goal-line referees, used in various UEFA competitions since 2009, were a cheaper way of determining whether the ball had crossed the line and warned against allowing technology to encroach on the game.

He said it would cost €50 million to introduce goal-line technology to UEFA’s international and club competitions over five years.

“I prefer to give €50 million to grassroots than goal-line technology for perhaps one or two goals a year,” he said at a press conference in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

“If the goal-line referee is one metre from the line and he has good glasses, he can see whether the ball is inside or not.”

While fans have called for years for football to embrace goal-line technology to eliminate human error, Platini has repeatedly warned it will lead to technology encroaching into other areas of the game.

The debate came to the fore again at Euro 2012 – where goal-line referees patrolled the sidelines – when Ukraine were denied a goal against England, leading FIFA president Sepp Blatter to call for the new technology.

But Platini pointed to an offside infringement in the build-up and questioned where the line on introducing such technology would be drawn.

Asian Football Confederation acting president Zhang Jilong told the press conference the AFC would study the use of the technology at the Club World Cup before making a decision.

“This is something new. After the tests during the World Club Championships in Tokyo, we will see whether it can be adopted by all the competitions or not,” he said.

The Club World Cup, involving the winners of continental club competitions, is running both Hawk-Eye and GoalRef at a cost of $1 million over the eight-game competition.

The Hawk-Eye system uses between six and eight cameras while GoalRef uses magnetic fields to determine whether a ball has crossed the line.

Both systems transmit their findings to devices that can be worn on officials’ wrists.

European champions Chelsea are the main draw at the competition in Tokyo and play Monterrey of Mexico tomorrow for a place in the final.

Euro 2020

Platini also rejected any chance of Euro 2020 matches being played outside Europe after criticism over UEFA’s green light to hold tournament matches across the continent.

“I have received requests from many national associations in Europe (to host Euro 2020). And if I say, ‘No, we don’t play in our continent but we play in some other continent,’ they will kill me,” he said.

Platini has argued that a cross-continental competition would relieve pressures on a single or joint host nation given the current financial climate, but fans have complained the spread of games will ruin the atmosphere.

The host cities bidding process beings in March, with decisions on venues set to be made in early 2014. The next European championships in 2016 are to be held in France, with an increase in the number of teams from the current 16 to 24.

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