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FIFA looking closer at instant replay then ever

Photo by Mike Phillips

Photo by Mike Phillips

LONDON -- FIFA will fund further goal-line technology trials after 10 systems failed to meet the conditions set by world football's governing body.

The trials were ordered by FIFA President Sepp Blatter after he reversed his opposition to high-tech aids for referees following complaints about mistakes at the 2010 World Cup.

The systems tested at FIFA's headquarters last month -- including the Adidas-owned Cairos microchip ball -- were judged to be not quick or accurate enough.

But FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said Thursday the organization remains committed to finding the right goal-line device.

The sport's rule-making body, the International Football Association Board, will review the 10 results at its annual meeting on Saturday at Celtic Manor in Wales.

"The decision is: Do we extend the tests which we at FIFA are ready to do and ready to pay for?" Valcke said in Zurich. "Maybe (we will) do the next tests in England and in a stadium.

"If something is working then why not (introduce it)? Blatter was clear to the executive committee by saying if there is a system that's working we have to accept it."

Under conditions set by IFAB in October, any technological device would have to determine whether a goal had been scored within one second and be 100 percent accurate.

The most high-profile blunder at last year's World Cup in South Africa came when England was denied a goal against Germany. Frank Lampard's shot clearly crossed the line and would have leveled the round-of-16 match at 2-2. England went on to lose 4-1.

Hawk-Eye's camera-based system, which is successfully deployed in tennis, did not participate in the tests last month at FIFA House in Zurich because six cameras must be deployed in a a stadium environment. Hawk-Eye, however, has been assured that it can participate in further tests if they are pursued by IFAB on Saturday.

"The structure of the tests was not what they were expecting but in the meantime we know where they are," Valcke said. "Hawk-Eye also will be discussed (on Saturday)."

The 125-year-old rule-making body comprises officials from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, who each have a vote, and FIFA, which has four votes. The approval of world football's governing body is vital since motions need six votes to be passed.

The Welsh and Northern Irish backed Blatter last year by voting to keep technology out of the game.