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Video technology

July 1, 2010

FIFA president Sepp Blatter apologized on Tuesday for refereeing mistakes that have blighted the 2010 World Cup. A call during the England-Germany game, in particular, could lead to reconsideration of video technology.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter
Blatter says FIFA must consider video technologyImage: AP

An apologetic Sepp Blatter said on Tuesday that the world soccer body FIFA had to take steps to prevent refereeing mistakes in international competitions.

"Naturally we deplore when you see the evidence of refereeing mistakes," Blatter said in reference to two blown calls on Sunday that hurt the English and Mexican teams in their efforts to advance to the quarterfinals.

In the Mexico-Argentina game, a missed offside call led to Argentina's first goal, which visibly rattled the Mexican side in their 3-1 defeat against the Argentineans.

In the England-Germany game, England was disallowed a clear goal after the referee missed seeing a shot by England midfielder Frank Lampard cross well over the line.

NO FLASH Nicht gezähltes Tor England gegen Deutschland
Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer looks at the ball that hit the bar to bounce over the line during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Germany and England at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, South Africa, Sunday, June 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)Image: AP

England, chasing a comeback, were down 2-1 at that point just before the end of the first half. The goal was not given and Germany went on to win the match 4-1.

'Nonsense' not to reconsider video technology

With regard to the blown English call, Blatter said at Tuesday's briefing that FIFA would "reopen" the file on implementing video technology to help referees avoid mistakes regarding goalline decisions.

"It is obvious that after the experiences so far at this World Cup it would be a nonsense not to re-open the file on goalline technology. Something has to be changed," he told a select group of media.

Mexican players gather around the referee at the World Cup
Mexico were up in arms after the offside call was missedImage: AP

Blatter added that the discussion would begin after the World Cup, most likely at a meeting of FIFA's rule-making panel in Wales next month, as the system could not be changed midway through the tournament.

Blatter's statements on Tuesday signal a clear change in FIFA's stance with regard to goalline technology or video replays to help decide on marginal calls after the International Board, the sport's lawmaking body, voted against their introduction in March.

"The game must be played in the same way no matter where you are in the world," Blatter said in a statement on FIFA's website at the time. "The simplicity and universality of the game is one of the reasons for its success."

Author: Gabriel Borrud (AP/Reuters)
Editor: Matt Hermann