Football: Clemence plays down larger goals

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The Independent Online

Ray Clemence yesterday cited Alan Shearer as a glowing example of why the sport's world governing body, Fifa, should not increase the size of the goals to make football more attractive.

Clemence, the former England goalkeeper now the manager of Third Division Barnet, said: "We are always talking about improving techniques - and the goals are big enough if the technique of scoring is good enough."

"You see great goals being scored and, just as importantly, goalkeepers making great saves. If you make the goals too big and keepers have a nigh- on impossible job of making those saves, it will take something away from it."

Fifa is considering lengthening the goals by the diameter of two balls, around 50 centimetres, and increasing the height by the diameter of one ball.

However, a Fifa spokesman, Keith Cooper, warned: "Two major considerations may be overwhelming - firstly that the whole cost of the exercise makes it prohibitive, and secondly you would have to see how teams react in any experiment."