FIFA halts instant replay experiment
Soccer's lawmakers agreed Saturday to halt all experiments with video replay and instead put their faith in extra manpower.
FIFA's International Board approved a plan to experiment with the addition of two referees' assistants, rather than use cameras to rule on disputed goals.
FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said there were fears the advance of goal-line technology would lead to its extensive use.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter and the Welsh Football Association opposed the use of video replays.
"It's a game played by human beings, a game with a human face," WFA secretary general David Collins said. "There is a feeling it would hinder the flow of the game."
Blatter said the decision was made to "maintain the game's universality."
"We have 260 million people directly involved in the game," he said. "Other sports regularly change the laws of the game to react to the new technology. ... We don't do it and this makes the fascination and the popularity of football."
Blatter said the proposed technology was flawed and vulnerable to weather conditions.
"Let it be as it is and let's leave (soccer) with errors," Blatter said. "The television companies will have the right to say (the referee) was right or wrong, but still the referee makes the decision — a man, not a machine."
The decision was a disappointment to company officials of Hawk-Eye technology, which is used to determine line calls in professional tennis. Last month, tests were done at Reading's Madejski Stadium.
"I'm livid, it is completely out of the blue," Hawk-Eye managing director Paul Hawkins said. "A year ago they (the IFAB) set four criteria that had to be met, so they obviously wanted it then. We have invested an awful lot of money and now we have no return on that investment."
The English Football Association also was disappointed with FIFA's decision.
"I think it's dead in the water," FA chief executive Brian Barwick said.
The two additional assistant referees will be behind the goals and used at a UEFA or FIFA tournament before the board meets next year.