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May 20, 2014

DFB-Pokal incident reignites GLT debate

World Cup referee Dr Felix Brych insists goal-line technology is a welcome addition at next month's FIFA World Cup.

The German football league (DFL) has said it is prepared to reopen the vote on goal-line technology (GLT) after the referee failed to spot that Mats Hummels' header crossed the line during the DFB-Pokal final.

Dante clears Mats Hummels' header during the DFB-Pokal final.
Dante clears Mats Hummels' header during the DFB-Pokal final.

Hesse: Reversal of fortunes

Borussia Dortmund looked to have taken the lead in the 64th minute of Saturday's final against Bayern Munich when Hummels headed past goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, but referee Florian Meyer ruled that Dante had cleared the ball before it crossed the line and waved play on. Bayern went on to win the game 2-0 after extra time.

A 3D analysis later established that the ball had been 40cm over the line at the time Dante made the clearance, leading to calls for German football to reconsider the introduction of GLT.

In March, a vote was held among the 36 clubs in Germany's top two tiers in the wake of Stefan Kiessling's infamous "ghost goal," but the motion failed to receive the two-thirds majority required to come into effect.

However, DFL general manager Andreas Rettig has now said his organisation is willing to stage new vote if requested.

"If the clubs ask for another vote over the introduction of goal-line technology then nothing stands in the way of that," Rettig, who questioned the standard of the existing technology in October, told the media. "The DFL was and still is perfectly prepared in this matter."

Although the cup final was staged by the German FA (DFB), the federation had vowed to abide by the results of the DFL vote when it was held in March.

German referee chief Herbert Fandel, who has defended Meyer against criticism, insists GLT is required to assist officials.

"It's more than regrettable that we don't get to use the technology," he told the media. "We had hoped that we would no longer need to lead this discussion."

Germany's World Cup referee Felix Brych added in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: "The big outrage always surrounds the question of whether it was a goal or was not a goal. We would be delighted to have assistance in answering that question."

German referees had backed the introduction of GLT when the vote was held in March, but only nine Bundesliga clubs -- among them Bayern and Dortmund -- and three from the second tier had supported the motion.

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