Premium Times (Abuja)

20 February 2013

Nigeria: National Referees Laud FIFA Over Goal-Line Technology

The Nigeria Referees Association (NRA) has lauded FIFA for adopting goal-line technology to resolve "disputable" goal-scoring decisions in matches.

Ahmed Maude, the President of the NRA made the remark during a telephone interview on Wednesday in Lagos.

"It is a welcome development, it will make football more interesting, there are lots of technologies that have been introduced that have helped to improve the game.

He, however, asked for caution from football followers in expecting a perfect solution to goal-line disputes.

"Football is a game for human beings, so referees are human and liable to make mistakes. I don't know how these gadgets will work, but how error proof are they?

"Machines can fail just like human beings, I guess we will just have to make this work, mistakes are natural in soccer," Mr. Maude said.

He disagreed that the gadgets, when eventually adopted, could relegate referees to the background.

"No it cannot make referees useless; the new technology cannot substitute a referee, that's impossible!

"It's an era that will serve its own purpose and its technology, something new could come again tomorrow it can only get better," the president said.

Tuesday's approval became imminent after FIFA's rule-making panel, known as IFAB, decided last July to approve goal-line technology at competitive matches after two systems passed extensive tests.

Sepp Blatter had insisted on giving World Cup referees the backup to make goal-line decisions, after England midfielder, Frank Lampard, was denied a clear goal against Germany at the 2010 tournament in South Africa.

Following the landmark decision, the apex football body has called for tenders from companies that would want their goal-line technology gadgets approved for use by FIFA.

The technology was first used on trial basis at the Club World Cup in Japan last December.

After the successful trial in Japan, the device would now be deployed in the upcoming FIFA Confederation Cup in June in Brazil, in the buildup to the 2014 World Cup.

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