Football: France league chief hails goal-line technology, but baulks at price

Jul 06, 2012

The president of the French professional football league (LFP) on Friday welcomed the decision to introduce goal-line technology (GLT), but baulked at its prohibitive cost.

"Good sense has finally prevailed," Frederic Thiriez told AFP a day after the International Association Board (IFAB) -- custodians of the game's laws, voted to introduce GLT.

The GLT will be used at the Club World Cup in Tokyo in December, the Confederation Cup in 2013 and also the World Cup in 2014.

It means footballing authorites around the world can introduce the technology into their competitions, using either the Hawk-Eye or GoalRef systems that have been undergoing tests.

"With the support of the French football federation, I've been proposing since 2005 the use of video on the goal-line. That was refused. Now it's the end of an archaic rule which I've been fighting for all these years.

"However, it's still not satisfying because the prohibitive cost of the technology envisaged by FIFA will prevent their use in most competitions."

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke estimated the cost of GLT at between $150-250,000 (121-201,000 euros) for each system, with that falling significantly over time.

Fans have called for years for the football world to embrace technology which would eliminate human error, citing its use in other sports including tennis and cricket.

But opponents to GLT included UEFA president Michel Platini, who said he preferred the system of five match officials, implemented for the first time at the Ukrainian championships and also agreed on by IFAB at Zurich on Thursday.

GoalRef utilises magnetic fields to determine whether a ball has crossed the line while the Hawk-Eye system is based on the use of cameras.

The two goal-line technology systems both made it through to the final stages of FIFA's testing process in March this year.

"The solution we proposed, that's to say the use of video footage by the referee like they do in rugby, would cost an awful lot less (than the GLT)," Thiriez said.

"It would also allow the referee to oversee other game situations, such as goals scored by a handball for example."

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