Champions League trial for extra officials

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The Independent Online

Football's lawmaking panel has expanded the experimental use of two extra assistant referees for competitions including the Champions League, starting in the new season.

The use of officials behind the goals was tested in last season's Europa League and the International Football Association Board said yesterday, after a meeting of its technical subcommitee in Cardiff, that it would rule in 2012 on whether the system would be adopted permanently.

Adding to the traditional referee and two linesmen is designed to help with difficult decisions, such as whether the ball has crossed the line for a goal. The continued experiment means any decision on the use of goal-line video technology may be postponed further.

The debate on goal-line technology debate was rekindled at the World Cup last month when England were denied a goal in their eventual 4-1 defeat against Germany because officials failed to see that a shot by Frank Lampard had crossed the line after bouncing down from the crossbar.

The IFAB ruled that national associations, confederations or competitions must cover the cost of the experiment, which has been approved for a total of nine competitions.