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More refs experiment OKed; goal-line tech scrapped
March 11th, 2008 6:45AM

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[REF WATCH] At its Annual General Meeting, the International Football Association Board, which oversees FIFA's Rules of the Game, has suspended the pursuit of goal-line technology and agreed to experimentation with two additional assistant referees.

FIFA's statement on goal-line technology included, "Amongst others, the questions of the human aspect of the Game, the universality of the Rules of the Game, as well as the simplicity and efficiency of the technology were taken into consideration."

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said, "There has been no change of heart. Referees make decisions, not machines. I have defended goal-line technology but it has become clear that such systems are too complicated and very costly. Nor would they necessarily add anything positive to the game and could harm the authority of the referee.

"We have to maintain the laws of the game in their simplicity. Do you want technical devices to take decisions? That's why, after three years of tests with no conclusions, I am in favor of putting the whole thing on ice."

The IFAB has approved a proposal from FIFA to conduct an experiment involving two additional assistant referees who will mainly focus on the fouls and misconduct in the penalty area. The competition in which this test will be conducted will be decided at a later stage.

The IFAB also approved specific field-size guidelines for "A" internationals. It set a fixed size of 105m long and 68m wide (instead of a minimum and maximum length - from 100m to 110m - and a minimum and a maximum width - from 64m to 75m).

Also, FIFA President Blatter addressed violent tackles, reiterating that "players committing such acts should be banned".

The International F.A. Board is composed of The English Football Association, The Scottish Football Association, The Football Association of Wales, The Irish Football Association (Northern Ireland) and FIFA. Representing its 204 other members, FIFA has four votes on the body, while the four British associations have one vote apiece. A proposal requires a three-quarter majority (i.e., six of the eight votes) to be passed.



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