The FIFA president Sepp Blatter has agreed that the errors made by the referees at this World Cup have been ‘deplorable’ and has made an official apology to both England and Mexico for the goal decisions that changed their respective games.
He has also said that the question of goal-line technology will be discussed again later this month when FIFA meet in Wales.
He said on FIFA.com: “FIFA took the decision to play this competition with traditional refereeing, with one novelty – one referee on the field, two assistants and the novelty being that the fourth official has more duties to support the referee. Everybody knew at the start of this competition that we would not apply any other system, such as having two additional referees in the penalty areas or using technology, including goal-line technology. Consequently, the principle will not be changed for this competition. But with what we have experienced here, it would be nonsense to not reopen the file on technology at the next business meeting of the IFAB on 20 and 21 July in Wales.
“FIFA is in charge of organising the refereeing. The question is to know what we shall do in the future. We need to continue to improve the match control. After the FIFA World Cup 1990 we created the task force ‘Football 2000’ which led us to some amendments to the Laws of the Game – like the back-pass to the goalkeeper.
“It is an ongoing process at FIFA and on my personal agenda. In October-November we will present a new model on how to improve high-level refereeing.
“I deplore the obvious refereeing mistakes we have seen. I understand the teams concerned are unhappy. I have personally said ‘I apologise for what happened’ to both England and Mexico. I understand the media criticism, it is their right and job to do so. Still, it’s not the end of the competition, it’s not the end of football. With the denial of the use of technology, we have to accept mistakes.
“As FIFA, we need to protect refereeing. We have the responsibility to take the adequate measures to avoid such situations happening again. However, I cannot accept that the integrity of the competition and the referees is called into question.”
But that won’t change the past will it? Perhaps they should have considered it earlier….
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