FIFA presidential candidate says sport needs to utilize video replay

Referees should be allowed to consult video replays and football needs to accept the "inevitable" use of technology, according to FIFA presidential hopeful Jerome Champagne.

Jerome Champagne for using technology

Jerome Champagne, seen in 2008, is a candidate to replace Sepp Blatter. (Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Referees should be allowed to consult video replays and football needs to accept the "inevitable" use of technology, according to FIFA presidential hopeful Jerome Champagne.

Champagne suggests in a document sent to FIFA member nations on Monday that video replays could help referees judge situations such as offside on disputed goals, red card incidents and if fouls are inside the penalty area.

"It is an illusion to think that it can be disregarded in football," Champagne wrote about the potential for giving referees high-tech help. "Such technology will, of course, have to be introduced in measured way and be limited to dead-ball situations."

The former international relations adviser to FIFA President Sepp Blatter said the debate is needed "without resorting to any ostrich tactics or dogma."

Champagne takes the opposite view to UEFA President Michel Platini, who fears recent approval for goal-line technology will lead to video replay and remove the human element of decision-making by match officials.

The Frenchmen are seen as leading candidates to succeed Blatter if he fulfills a promise to stand down in 2015. The 77-year-old Swiss has hinted he wants to stay in the job he has already occupied for 15 years.

"I have not decided that I would run, nor have I decided that I will not run," Champagne, who left FIFA in 2010, told Inside Sport Africa magazine in an interview this month.

The 209 FIFA associations who received Champagne's wide-ranging 10-page proposal will elect the FIFA president in two years' time.

He stakes out further challenges to Platini by describing the "elitist" appeal of "two or three western European club competitions" as a threat to developing football across the world.

UEFA's Champions League, the English Premier League and Spain's La Liga earn billions of dollars each year with broadcasting deals across the world, and lure many of the best players from their home countries.

Champagne said competitions are becoming "bloated" and damage local leagues and clubs by draining potential income and interest.

He proposes a tax on international transfers and broadcasting deals to fund coaching programs in poorer countries co-ordinated by the world governing body.

"Are we determined to uphold a truly universal type of football that respects and listens to everyone, one that is supported by FIFA's mastery of development, its proactive vision and its determination to incorporate true governance at the service of everyone?" he wrote.

The former French diplomat also suggests FIFA should get more involved in politics.

"Although FIFA is not in a position to act as a peacemaker, it should take every possible initiative to create a tradition of 'football diplomacy,' designed to reduce regional conflicts," Champagne proposed, adding that FIFA could offer associate membership to countries such as Kosovo and Greenland which are denied full international football status.

Champagne takes a further shot at Platini and UEFA's "political alliances" with the European Union which sank Blatter's "6-plus-5" proposal to limit the number of foreign players in club lineups, and suggests reviving the plan.

The 207-member European Club Association lobby group, led by Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, is described as "more elitist than democratic."

Champagne suggests FIFA should negotiate with a new grouping of clubs and leagues representing all six continental confederations.

In further suggestions to help referees, he proposes a "sin bin" system whereby players could be shown an orange card to exclude them for play for "two to three minutes," and protecting match officials' authority by allowing only a team captain to approach them.