Football: Fifa to rule on use of television replay

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The prospect of contentious goals such as Maradona's "hand of God" score being decided by television evidence has moved a step closer.

France and Sweden have applied to Fifa, football's world governing body, for permission to use television adjudication in their friendly in Paris on 2 April. The referee would remain the ultimate arbiter but would have recourse to a monitor by the side of the pitch.

Sepp Blatter, Fifa's general secretary, is understood to have given a cautious assent to the experiment. The final decision will be made by Fifa on 1 March in Belfast.

It would be the referee's decision whether to consult the TV monitor. English viewers can judge the experiment themselves, as the match will be televised live on Eurosport.

While TV evidence is used in cricket and American football, the main reservation regarding football is that it would disrupt the flow of an essentially seamless sport.

Meanwhile, Fifa's latest proposed rule change regarding the use of penalty shoot-outs has met with a mixed response. Fifa has suggested that the penalty shoot-out should take place before extra-time to both reduce the pressure on individual players and increase the chance of a result in open play.

Chris Waddle, who missed a penalty in the 1990 World Cup semi-final shoot- out, told the Independent: "I would just ban penalty shoot-outs. I can understand that they are trying to seek a result but I would reduce the game to seven-a-side for extra time or five-a-side. I am sure a goal would be scored in 30 minutes and then the whole team would suffer rather than one individual."

Howard Wilkinson, the FA's technical director, said: "It is a good idea. It will change the attitude of the players. At least one team would have to go for a result. At present there is a feeling that some teams deliberately play for extra time."