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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Platini: Invest in grassroots, not tech

ESPN staff

UEFA president Michel Platini has again revealed his opposition to the use of technology in football, as it is being employed by FIFA for the first time at the Club World Cup in Japan.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has performed a U-turn in recent years after a series of controversial decisions in high-profile matches and now goal-line technology, in the form of Hawk-Eye and GoalRef, is being trialled in the competition.

Platini, however, is not for turning and revealed his reasons when asked by reporters in Kuala Lumpur where he is signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Asian Football Confederation on cooperation.

"It is not a question of goal-line technology, it is a question of technology," he said. "Where do you begin with the technology and where do you end with the technology?

"To put goal-line technology in our competitions is €50 million in five years. I prefer to give the €50 million to the grassroots and development in football than to put €50 million into technology for perhaps one or two goals per year. It's a lot (of money) a goal, yeah?"

If all goes well in Japan, FIFA could use one of the systems at the Confederations Cup in Brazil next year, but Platini is still in favour of deploying extra officials rather than machines.

"We supported the additional referees that is now accepted by the international board," he said. "And with the referee one metre from the line I think if he has good glasses he can see if the ball is inside the goal or outside."

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