Platini joy as extra ref plan gets green light
UEFA president Michel Platini is confident that football's rules will be changed to allow an extra assistant referee behind each goal-line in time for Euro 2012.
The International FA Board (IFAB), the game's rule-makers, today gave the go-ahead for new trials of Platini's plan in a professional league next season.
The Italian Cup will be the first guinea pig and the French FA have also offered to trial the scheme, while introducing the system in the USA's Major League Soccer is also a possibility.
Platini said the Coca-Cola Championship in England could also be a possible league for an experiment.
Asked if he was confident it would become part of football's rules, Platini said: ''I am sure.''
He added: ''The decision will be made in 2011 so if it is agreed then it will be used in Euro 2012.
''First we have to study it in a top league with atmosphere and television cameras.
''It could be something like the Championship in England, that could be a good idea.''
Platini said unlike goal-line technology, the extra assistants could also help the referee on decisions such as penalties and hand-balls.
The UEFA president added: ''I am still against a video referee. If you have an additional referee he can see if the ball is in the goal. You don't need another system.
''On TV, they show the mistakes of referees and we have to help them.''
A final decision on the extra referees will be made in 2011 and the rule change could come in for Euro 2012.
The IFAB also handed a way back in for goal-line technology by agreeing for a new report on latest developments.
They also rejected a proposal by the Irish FA for sin-bins, and by the Scottish FA for a fourth substitute to be allowed in extra-time.
Meanwhile, FIFA abandoned their controversial proposal to extend the half-time break from 15 to 20 minutes after opposition from the home nations.
Goal-line technology, which was put on ice a year ago, could be revived after the IFAB agreed to hear a report on latest developments by adidas and German company Cairos Technology.
The IFAB is made up of representatives of the four home associations, who each have a vote, and FIFA, who have four. Any rule change needs at least six votes in favour.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has warned that no British player should be prevented from playing in the 2012 Olympics.
Blatter said the Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh FAs did not have to take any part in the organisation of a Great Britain team but stressed that players should not be stopped from being involved.
That opens the way for the likes of Arsenal's Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey to be selected.
Blatter, speaking after the International FA Board meeting near Belfast, said: ''Unless the IOC will expel football from the Olympic Games there will be a Great Britain football team at the London 2012 Games.
''The composition of this team is not relevant for the IOC or FIFA.
''As the team is not identified as a Scottish or Welsh or Northern Ireland team, then if players should like to play for it we should not forbid them to play in the Olympic Games.''
The Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh associations fear involvement in a Great Britain Olympic team would lead to fresh efforts to end their separate identities with FIFA.
Asked if it would jeopardise their status, Blatter replied: ''In principle I would say not.
''Let them make a team and if Scotland don't want to play, then don't play.