FIFA postpones extra ref experiment

FIFA has decided not experiment with extra assistant referees to monitor penalty area action at December's World Club Cup, having decided the Japan-hosted tournament, which features the six continental club champions, was too high profile. The experiment, in which an additional linesperson would stand behind each goal and assist the referee with decisions on penalty-area incidents, will instead be carried out at next year's women's U-17 World Cup in New Zealand or the women's U-20 World Cup in Chile.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter confirmed that the smart-ball technology, which uses a microchip in the ball to send an instant message to the referee when a goal has been scored, would be used in Japan.

Blatter said FIFA would be making $40 million available for the new referees assistance program to help develop refereeing around the world.

"So much is at stake now in our football that refereering becomes more and more important so the money will be made available for the next three and a half years to help improve standards around the world," he said.

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