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By ESPN Staff
Jan 17, 2008

UEFA back plans for extra match officials

UEFA are backing a change to football's rules to allow two extra assistant referees in the penalty area at free-kicks and corners. The idea, put forward by UEFA president Michel Platini, is to be trialled at youth tournaments as an alternative to goal-line technology. The experiment will include using the assistants both behind the goal-line and inside the penalty box as extra eyes and ears for the referee. William Gaillard, UEFA's communications director and Platini's special adviser, told PA Sport: 'Michel Platini has put forward a suggestion to have two extra assistant referees - one at each end. 'Some people say it is better for them to stay behind the goal, others that it is better inside the penalty area so that things that go on like pulling and pushing are properly sanctioned. 'They would be just like the linesmen talking through radio system to the referee, who would then take a decision. 'We have the go-ahead from the International FA Board to conduct trials on this and we believe it could work - the game is a lot faster than it used to be and in some instances assistant referees are physically unable to keep up with play all the time.'