Liverpool to join goal-line test

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The Independent Football

Football's rulemakers have decided to continue with experiments to see whether the microchip system is used for next year's World Cup finals.

Rafael Benitez's European champions will play one or two matches in the tournament in Japan where goal-line technology will be in place.

The Fifa president Sepp Blatter and members of the International FA Board (IFAB) met in Peru yesterday when they were told that the first tests of the system during the Under-17 World Championships had been largely successful, though there are some concerns about the ease of installing the technology due to the large amount of cabling needed.

The FA executive director David Davies saw the "smartball" system used at first hand in Peru and was impressed.

However, he said: "I think there is unanimity that this project needs more work done on it. It would not be ready to use in a World Cup tomorrow for example.

"For me the crucial test is whether the referees regard it as an asset or a distraction."

The under-17 tournament saw five stadiums set up with the smartball system, where the ball contains a microchip which sends a signal whenever it passes over sensors in the touchline.

The referee is alerted by a special device worn on his wrist.

The final decision on the World Cup will be made at the IFAB annual meeting in Switzerland in March.

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