KEIR RADNEDGE in EDINBURGH: UEFA may find itself facing opposition from within over its refusal to countenance goal-line technology in European international competitions.
The International Board, football’s law-makers, decided at today’s annual meeting in the Scottish capital to allow greater flexibility in its use.
This means GLT may be used in individual matches within a competition as long as the competition organiser (football federation or league) is in agreement.
Last year, when IFAB approved GLT for worldwide use, it was envisaged that it should be on full-competition basis.
Four systems have been licensed for use and have tendered for the crucial FIFA contract for installation in Brazil at this year’s Confederations Cup and next year’s World Cup. A decision is expected on April 2.
CONCACAF, according to is president Jeffrey Webb, is also considering utilising goal-line technology at the Gold Cup in June.
Stewart Regan, chief executive of the Scottish FA, confirmed after the meeting that competition organisers could, if they wished, sanction access to GLT images by both television and stadium screen producers.
Then he added that match organisers could make decisions on individual games on a match-by-match basis.
Regan said: “If goal-line technology exists in a stadium, there is no advantage to one side or the other and therefore if the technology exists and it has been switched on and agreed by the competition organisers then there is no reason why it can’t be used.
“If it has been approved it will then be up to the individual club in consultation with the organisers or their league body to decide if it can be used.”
The 20 clubs of the English Premier League intend to use GLT next season but the FA Cup is open to negotiation because most of the clubs will not be able to afford the technology.
IFAB’s ruling means that Premier-hosted FA Cup-ties may be played with GLT, others without.
Alex Horne, general secretary of the Football Association, said: “My view and recommendation, for the FA Cup next season, would be that the technology favours nobody so it’s the same for both teams in the one game.
“So where a club enter the draw and have that technology I would allow them to switch it on.”
A decision is expected before the end of this season.
The European club competition issue has now become more complicated.
UEFA president Michel Platini has always been opposed to technology and was reported, only this week, to be costing its introduction in terms of millions of euro across the Champions League and Europa League.
Now that IFAB has ruled GLT can be used on a selective basis, the game has changed.
As competition lowers the price of GLT so more and more clubs throughout Europe will install it.
Those same clubs will then start to agitate within UEFA to be allowed to use it not only in domestic competition but within the Champions League and Europa League.
Platini can refuse – but he will then run the same risk which forced FIFA president Sepp Blatter into a 90-degree change of opinion.
Blatter was always a staunch opponent of GLT until he attended the 2010 World Cup second round match in which England’s Frank Lampard was denied a ‘goal’ against Germany seen by everyone in the stadium expect the referee and linesman.
By the following day a worldwide storm of ridicule forced Blatter into a change of heart.
Platini, if he resists pressure from within his own club competitions, risks the same fate.
FIFA, via IFAB, may well have placed a Trojan Horse at UEFA’s gates.
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