Triesman attacks technology ruling

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The Independent Online

Lord Triesman, the chairman of the Football Association, has condemned the decision by football's world governing body Fifa to abandon trialling of goal-line technology in favour of experimenting with extra referees behind the goal.

Triesman, who has been a referee and linesman, said yesterday: "The one thing which takes enjoyment out of a game is trying to play without referees. There are lots of competitions at junior level – adults and youngsters – which do not have referees, which is one reason why I'm not sure about having two further assistant referees running small bits of the line behind the goals.

"I thought there was a very good case for the work [on goal-line technology] to continue. It was only whether the ball crossed the goal-line. Nothing else, not offside, corner-kicks or whatever, only if it crossed the goal-line.

"The two teams of specialists had, broadly speaking, met the conditions Fifa required: to get the answer immediately with the game not held up in any way. But Fifa decided we should proceed no further. I was very disappointed by that.

"It was argued by Fifa this would undermine the authority of referees who must, as human beings, have the right to be right or wrong, to make mistakes, without challenge. The point was made by the Scottish FA that, with the amount of cameras around now everything is captured, so rather than enhance the role of referees [not having technology] is more likely to have their ability called into question.

The argument came back it would be nice to go back to the days before freeze-frames and action replays. I am disappointed when people look to recreate the world of 50 years ago instead of dealing in the world we have got."

Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA's director of football development, added: "We are running out of referees. Asking for two more does not seem a good solution."

And, said Triesman, it was not an enviable posting for officials. "Having been a linesmen on one or two grounds, I'm not sure I would like to stand behind the goal at Millwall at the Old Den."

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