Managers set to give goalkeepers an earful

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The Independent Football

Fifa has confirmed that the use of communications equipment during a football match will be discussed at a meeting of the International Football Association Board next month.

The statement comes after the Belgium coach, Aimé Antheunis, said he would like to follow the lead of Genk after their goalkeeper, Jan Moons, used an earpiece to communicate with his coach during last Friday's 1-0 win over Brugge.

"If Fifa doesn't forbid it, I would like to use it too," Antheunis said. "For a coach this is a fantastic device. With such an earphone you can give your guidelines much quicker and it could be the beginning of a new era for football."

Fifa's statement read: "The use of any communications equipment on the pitch during a match, such as an earpiece, should be authorised by the International Football Association Board prior to its use ... The approval of such communications equipment will be likely be addressed at the meeting of the IFAB in London on 28 February."

Earlier in the day, the world and European governing bodies, Fifa and Uefa, said the use of an earpiece would not be illegal.

"Law Four is the first guidance," a Fifa spokesman said. "This states that a player should not use equipment that is dangerous to themselves. Any equipment that is used on the field of play ... must not be dangerous to the player, and whether it is or not is left to the discretion of the referee."

Moons, who received instructions which he passed to his team-mates, said: "At first you feel it but after a few minutes you hardly notice that it's there. And no, the coach doesn't tell me which way I have to dive."

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