KEIR RADNEDGE in BELO HORIZONTE —- Sepp Blatter believes the World Cup finals in Brazil have converted Michel Platini to the cause of goal-line technology.
Platini, French president of European federation UEFA, has always been resolutely opposed to any form of technical assistance; FIFA president Blatter, however, had changed from opponent to proponent after Frank Lampard’s ‘phantom goal’ at the 2010 finals.
The law-making International Board approved goal-line technology in 2012 and this is the first World Cup in which it has been used, to decisive effect on several occasions.
Blatter, in an interview with FIFA.com, said: “It works well which is why we need this goal-line technology not only in the World Cup but in other competitions, in other leagues.
“It helps the referee and gives the public information that something has changed and there is no more discussion on a goal scored or not scored.
Example to follow
“This is important because scoring goals is the objective of football. . . I am sure that professional leagues will follow.
“I spoke with UEFA’s president, Michel Platini, who said he will introduce the goal-line technology for the next European Championship in 2016 in France.”
Blatter, in the interview, also welcomed the introduction of vanishing spray to maintain defensive discipline at a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. He said: “This is very good because it gives the attacking team the chance to take the free kick from a real distance and not the distance where the wall is always moving.
“Some professional players have already said: ‘Now [here] we have the nine metres but in our leagues we are at [only] six or seven metres.'”
The next development Blatter wants is for each team manager to be allowed two challenges each half for a referee’s decision.
FIFA’s president had launched the proposal at Congress on the eve of the World Cup. He acknowledged the complications, however, by saying that a challenge on an offside decision would not be possible because of the perpetual motion nature of football.
Blatter praised the “exceptional” positive attitude of all the teams at the World Cup in the early games unlike “former World Cups when everybody wanted not to lose.”
He also expressed thanks to the people of Brazil for coming out in support of the World Cup.
Blatter said: “We have realised that, after 48 matches out of the 64, the population of Brazil is more in the game than in the streets and more in the fan fests than in the demonstration and this is great and I have to thank the people of Brazil for the acceptance of this World Cup.”
# # # # # # # # #