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DFL: Goal-line tech not good enough

The German Football League (DFL) has ruled out the introduction of goal-line technology in the wake of Bayer Leverkusen’s ‘ghost goal’ because of the standard of the available systems.

Leverkusen claimed a 2-1 victory over Hoffenheim at the weekend as a result of Stefan Kiessling’s 70th-minute goal, which came after his header had missed the target but crept in through a hole in the side netting.

Hoffenheim have called for the game to be replayed, but the German FA (DFB) has said it will abide by FIFA rules, which state that a referee’s decision is final once play has restarted.

On Wednesday, FIFA stressed to the German SID news wire that the referee’s decision is final, all but ruling out a replay unless it can be proven that there was a breach of the rules. 

The governing body also said technology could help address such problems, adding: “This incident is another example of how the goal-line technology can be a great help in arriving at a right decision, and therefore contribute to fair play in our sport.”

The matter has led to renewed discussion over the introduction of goal-line technology, with the German broadsheet Sueddeutsche Zeitung proposing the use of either Hawk-Eye -- now used in England’s Premier League as well as sports such as tennis and cricket -- or GoalControl, which FIFA tested successfully during the Confederations Cup and will use during next summer’s World Cup.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said at a news conference on Monday: “If I was working in the German Bundesliga -- and you are one of the European countries that is not in economical problems -- I don't understand why you don't spend a few million to bring technology on the line.

“If it was the Portuguese or the Greek league, I would say no chance, but with the German one, I don't know why you don't do it.”

However, DFL general manager Andreas Rettig told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that, as things stand, the technology options remained inadequate.

“We are not against technological progress, but we are talking about a highly complex system here, which might still be failure-prone,” he said. “The 3cm margin of error allowed by FIFA is not acceptable for us.”

Rettig cited the example of Ukraine’s Marko Devic, who was not been awarded a goal against England at Euro 2012 despite his shot bouncing 2.6cm over the line. He added: “Imagine the uproar if the goal-line technology had not signalled a goal.”

Kiessling, meanwhile, told Leverkusen’s official website  the criticism he has faced has been “pretty hard”.

The striker appeared to realise he had missed but, according to reports, failed to tell the referee when questioned on the matter. He has faced abuse on the internet and his behaviour has been the subject of scrutiny in the media.

“Everyone takes it for granted that I should have seen and admitted it,” Kiessling said. “I don’t know how the ball got into the goal. I was also pretty surprised.”

Hoffenheim, meanwhile, have announced that they will auction the ‘ghost goal’ netting for charity.

“The netting has cause a lot of controversy and anger. Doing something for a good cause is a good way of compensating for the damage,” Hoffenheim general manager Peter Rettig -- no relation to the DFL’s Rettig -- told Bild.



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