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Germany could follow Dutch tech lead

A view of part of the Hawk-Eye goal-line system
Goal-line and video technology could be coming to the Bundesliga.

The German Football League (DFL) has revealed more details of its plans to introduce video evidence in the Bundesliga.

The German top flight could introduce both goal-line technology and video evidence in the future, DFL executive Andreas Rettig told kicker.

Speaking to the press at the unveiling of the fixtures for the new Bundesliga season last month, Rettig had hinted at the possibility of introducing video evidence in German football's two upper tiers.

And in a kicker feature, he revealed that the DFL wants to use a fifth official to monitor controversies from nine different angles, who would then be able to contact the referee by radio.

The DFL is considering following the lead of a pilot project introduced in the Dutch league last year.

"It's important that the character of the game does not change and the referee remains the sovereign on the pitch," Rettig told kicker.

"He makes the final decision. The video technology takes over an additional assistant role. The Dutch proposition says that a decision has to be made within 15 seconds."

He said the idea was "only about minimising evident wrong calls." He pointed out that, at the World Cup, the fifth official would have been able to correct decisions like the two disallowed "offside" Mexico goals against Cameroon that were in fact onside.

If the Dutch pilot gets approval from the International Football Association Board, the DFL would put its introduction in Germany to a vote.

Earlier this year, two-thirds of the 36 clubs in Germany's top two tiers voted against the introduction of goal-line technology, mostly for financial reasons.

Rettig believes the new proposal could change that way of thinking, saying: "Those opposed to goal-line technology argued that such a system could only solve five percent of controversial issues, and mostly the second league teams wondered why they should invest so much money to only have five percent more justice."

The DFL executive said the idea would be discussed at a meeting of the DFL board in August, and then put before the sporting directors of the Bundesliga clubs in September.

It is as yet unclear, however, how much money the clubs would have to spend.

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