KEIR RADNEDGE in MONTE CARLO: A fascinating insight into the commanding modus operandi of FIFA president Sepp Blatter has emerged from Michel Platini, his UEFA counterpart.
Platini, a FIFA vice-president and considered by some as favourite to take over in Zurich in 2015, was addressing his long-acknowledged disagreement with Blatter over goal-line technology.
Blatter, long an opponent, changed his mind after England’s ‘phantom goal’ incident against Germany in the 2010 World Cup finals. Platini, a proponent of the all-human five-officials system, fears the ‘slippery slope’ danger of opening the football laws door to technology.
Approval to both systems was granted by the law-making International Board this past July. The vote was unanimous which meant one vote in favour from each of the four British ‘home’ associations and four votes from FIFA, all cast by Blatter.
The make-up and workings of IFAB have come under scrutiny from a FIFA reforms committee. Platini is not a critic – but he was sharply critical of Blatter’s wielding of the FIFA votes.
Platini said: “We never discussed this in the executive committee . . . but then we never discuss IFAB decisions in the executive committee. Blatter decides all four votes himself.”
Pressed on a possible reform of IFAB, Platini added: “I respect the tradition that the British national associations have their four votes; it’s the four votes of FIFA I don’t understand and the fact that the president decides what he wants. He never speaks about IFAB in the executive committee. I think that’s not correct.
“If the executive committee or congress decides on a change I will accept that because it’s a democratic decision but when Blatter votes for goal-line technology nobody can.”
Platini conceded that he did not have an opinion on how the submission of the four FIFA votes might be revised. He said: “The four votes of the president are not for me. But what else to do? I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it.”
The Frenchman was not present at the IFAB meeting which approved goal-line technology. He said: “Blatter knows what I think anyway. I stayed at home.”
In fact, since IFAB also approved the five-officials match control concept, Blatter clearly also put all four FIFA votes behind Platini’s favoured system . . .
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