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By ESPN Staff

Sir Alex gives backing to use of technology

Sir Alex Ferguson has called on football's law-makers to follow the lead of rugby and cricket and embrace video technology.

Manchester United were on the wrong end of two incorrect decisions in their FA Cup tie against Portsmouth at the weekend.

In the first half, Nemanja Vidic had a goal disallowed when referee Mike Riley and his assistants failed to spot the ball had crossed the line before Pedro Mendes cleared.

Then Henrik Larsson's stunning volley was ruled out for offside when TV replays showed the Swede was level with the last defender.

Although some pundits have claimed it merely evened up the ruling that went in United's favour two years ago when Roy Carroll dropped Mendes' shot over his own line at Old Trafford yet somehow managed to claw it out before the officials had noticed, Ferguson believes it is time for action.

'I am not a cricket fan or a rugby fan but I have noticed how these sports have changed over the years to improve decision making,' Ferguson told Manchester United Radio.

'Football has to open its eyes a bit wider because the people running the game are resisting the introduction of technology in every possible way.

'There is so much money and importance attached to a decision these days. It can cost a team a cup or see them get relegated. The professionals in the game view it as a necessity to use technology where necessary.'

FIFA guidelines currently prohibit national associations taking any further action on incidents which the referee has seen, even if the instant punishment has been incorrect.

However, Ferguson notes that technology can be used when it suits, notably in the biggest game on the planet.

'It's interesting because I don't think there is any doubt that in the World Cup final the fourth official sent (Zinedine) Zidane off after viewing the incident on a TV screen,' said the Scot.

'They take advantage when it suits them but in 99% of cases - like in goal-line decision-making - they're not.

'I think technology will eventually come - maybe not in my lifetime, but it will come.'