PARIS: Michel Platini, suspended president of UEFA and long-time opponent of technology in football, has issued a scathing verdict on the decision of the game’s lawmakers to approve testing of video-assistance systems writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
On Saturday in Cardiff the annual meeting of the International Football Association Board ruled that a start on experiments should be undertaken within the next 18 months even though many key decisions about the parameters have yet to be taken.
Platini was a firm opponent of the introduction of goal-line technology. However, since his absence under suspension last December for financial misconduct, UEFA has decided to use GLT at the finals of the Champions and Europa Leagues and at the Euro 2016 finals in France in June.
The former captain and then manager of France has not changed his mind.
He said at the weekend: “They can do all the tests they want and which will show this is complicated.
“I think it’s a bad thing . . . and that it will not work. If it proves me wrong, then OK. But this should not be a matter for companies working on video systems. There has been a lot of lobbying in this area and a lot of interests behind this.
“Football is a beautiful game but that does not depend on the referee or whether a decision is right or not.
“Football is loved around the world for its fluidity, because it’s a game that does not stop. I do not want us to harm football. In rugby it’s a little easier because the game stops and starts all the time.”
Platini was banned initially from football last December by the FIFA ethics committee for breaches of the ethics code involving the acceptance in 2011 of a SFr2m payment from the world federation authorised by its then president Sepp Blatter.
The suspension was trimmed last month by the FIFA appeal committee to six years. Platini, who has always denied wrongdoing, has registered a further challenge to the original verdict with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
He was prevented by the controversy from standing for the FIFA presidency last month but is still insistent on hoping to clear his name in time to reclaim the UEFA leadership in time to preside over the summer’s European Championships finals in his native France.