KEIR RADNEDGE in PARIS: Michel Platini was an avowed opponent of technological aides for referees but now he is out of the way UEFA is hurrying to confirm goal-line systems for all its European competitions.
Platini, currently suspended from all football and thus his presidency of the European federation, had grudgingly conceded that goal-line technology should be assessed for possible use for the Euro 2016 finals in France next summer.
But, in Platini’s absence because of his ongoing FIFA ethics storm, ‘his’ executive committee prepared to introduce GLT not only for the European Championship finals but also for the subsequent Champions and Europa League tournaments.
England, France, Germany and Italy have all embraced GLT and so has international governing body FIFA for the World Cup.
Platini’s preferred alternative of the additional assistant referees remains a Europe-only system but it would be used in tandem with goal-line technology in a belt and braces approach.
Gianni Infantino, UEFA’s general secretary, explained the latest turn of technological events after a meeting of the executive committee in Paris on the eve of the Euro 2016 in Paris.
He said: “This has been on the table for quite some time. The exco decided that a decision on the use of goal-line technology will be taken in January at its next meeting because everything has to be analysed.
“For example, there are different companies. One is used in France, a different one in England and so on. Also, because when UEFA decides to go for goal-line technology in addition to the five referees, it will be both for the Euro but also for the club competitions so this entails a whole series of logistical challenges which we have to analyse.
“But there was a positive feeling in the exco.”
Platini had objected to goal-line technology in European competition on two grounds.
He feared that its introduction would open the door to pressure for more technology which would change the nature of the game; also he was concerned about an unnecessary and out-of-proportion cost of installing goal-line technology across the continent for a comparative handful of matches.
A compromise over the latter issue could be an initial experiment with goal-line technology in matches in the knockout stages.
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