ZURICH: The 2014 World Cup finals on Brazil will see goal-line technology in use but not the ‘human system’ of goal-line referees writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

That was virtually confirmed by FIFA president Sepp Blatter at the end of a week of meetings in Zurich which concluded with two days of deliberations by the executive committee.

Blatter had already made it clear that FIFA wanted to use goal-line technology after it was approved for use in all competitions by the International Board this past July; both available systems (Hawkeye and GoalRef) will be installed at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in December.

But the 76-year-old head of world football does not believe it would be equable to introduce the system for the finals of the World Cup when it is not being  used for the qualifying phase.

FIFA vice-president Michel Platini, who also leads European federation UEFA, is in favour of the goal-line assistants and opposed to technology. However the extra officials are used only in European club competitions and the rest of the world has no knowledge of them; thus non-European referees have no experience of the system.

Blatter said: “According to the International Board to use or not to use additional assistant referees is free or not. Not many associations can afford even in their professional leagues to have so many refs available: they have to have the same quality as the referee in the middle.

“Concerning FIFA competitions the World Cup qualifying phase is all around done with the conservative system of one referee, two assistants and the fourth official. If you have one system run for the qualifiers you should have the same system in the finals.

“Let us wait and see how many nations will use these additional assistants and how it will work in the different leagues but in most countries they don’t have enough officials even to have one referee so to have three per match is not so easy.”

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