KEIR RADNEDGE in DOHA: If video technology had been permitted then Italy’s Roberto Rosetti, rather thanEngland’s Howard Webb, might have refereed the 2010 World Cup Final in Johannesburg.
But, amid all the debate over electronic aids for officials, Rosetti has insisted that he does not favour anything beyond the current, limited approval for goal-line technology.
Rosetti, now the Moscow-based refereeing supremo of the Russian league, was speaking alongside the ICSS Securing Sport conference in Qatar.
June 27 was a fateful date at the 2010 World Cup finals. In the afternoon England’s Frank Lampard saw a shot against Germany bounce down from the crossbar, behind the line, and back into play without the match officials crediting a goal.
Hours later Rosetti, relying on the mistaken absence of a signal from assistant Stefano Ayroldi, awarded Argentina’s Carlos Tevez a goal early in their match against Mexico. TV replays showed that Tevez had been well offside but the goal stood and the furious Mexicans lost 3-1.
The next morning FIFA president Sepp Blatter apologised to England and Mexico for both refereeing decisions which generated worldwide attention on football’s refusal to use technological help.
Rosetti, who had refereed Spain’s victory over Germany in the final of Euro 2008, was dropped from the World Cup panel.
Looking back, from a near-three-year perspective, Rosetti said: “For this decision I think I missed refereeing the World Cup Final. Up to then all my matches had been good.
“Everyone else had the opportunity to see this offside on the video many times but, as a referee, I had only the one second. Though it was an offside and I was the referee, not the assistant, I took my responsibility and, because of this mistake I could not continue in the world cup.
“Those are the laws of the game. I accept it.”
On the issue of technology, Rosetti still prefers the concept of human decision-making and appreciates the goal-line assistants for their contribution in helping decide on incidents on the edge of the penalty box.
He has no objection to the use of goal-line technology, either, but does not envisage its activation any time soon in Russia though goal-line assistants will be used from the quarter-finals of this year’s domestic cup competition.
Rosetti said: “Football is about excitement and drama which brings it own controversies. If you have decisions by technology you lose all this. I think it’s better to stay where we are.”
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