UEFA considers red-carding goal-line technology
Manchester – The Union of European Football Associations is considering not using goal-line technology in future Champions League and European Championship matches, even if such a system is introduced in world football.
Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino said today that the European governing body may opt to stick with its idea of having extra assistant referees next to the goals.
Football’s rule-making body will decide in July whether to approve high-tech aids for referees, with two systems now undergoing final tests. But using such technology will not be compulsory even if they are approved.
“If the technology is approved on July 2 we have to see what is approved, how it will work, how complicated or not it will be and then it will go to our executive committee,” Infantino said on the sidelines of the SoccerEx convention.
Uefa President Michel Platini has led the opposition to technology being used in games while championing the use of two additional officials in matches to help rule on disputed goals.
Successful trials have already been conducted in continental matches and the International Football Association Board will also decide on July 2 whether to give all competition organisers the option of using five officials.
“What we have at the moment is two additional referees, with which we are very happy,” Infantino said.
“And if the two additional referees are approved by the football board on July 2, then it’s likely we will use that. Certainly that system, then we will see about goal line technology.”
Infantino said using extra officials has an added benefit as they can help the referee rule on more situations than just disputed goals.
“On goal-line technology you can see whether a goal has been scored or not,” Infantino said. “An additional assistant next to the goal can see this, but also some other things.”
In either case, goal-line technology will not be approved in time to be implemented at this summer’s Euro 2012. When it comes to the 2016 tournament, Uefa is more worried about how to cope with the event expanding from 16 to 24 teams.
“It is 24 teams and that is a problem,” Infantino said. “If it turns out it is boring because everyone qualifies, we will change the qualifying format for the next time (for Euro 2020).”
Broadcast rights to the qualifiers for Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup will be the first to be centrally sold by Uefa.
All Uefa members agreed last year to a deal that ended the system where national federations sell rights to their own home matches and keep the revenue.
But Infantino revealed that England is the only one of 53 Uefa members that has not signed a final agreement with Uefa.
“The sticking points are minor rights details, radio rights and so on, and it is a matter of sitting around the table and discussing that,” Infantino said.
“We have reached agreements with 52 out of the 53 countries so there is no reason why we should not reach it with England. We still have a couple of days and there are just a couple of minor points. It will have a seismic effect on the football landscape across Europe.”
The new deal will give countries guaranteed income to prevent them losing out if they are drawn to play less glamorous opponents in qualifying groups.