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By ESPN Staff

Blatter defends decision over goal-line technology

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has defended the decision to rule out goal-line technology on the grounds of cost and keeping the game the same throughout all levels of football.

FIFA, supported by the Welsh and Northern Irish Football Associations, voted at the International FA Board at the weekend to block any further experiments with technology.

Blatter said on the FIFA website: ''The application of modern technologies can be very costly, and therefore not applicable on a global level. The universality of the game: one of the main objectives of FIFA is to protect the universality of the game of association football.

''This means that the game must be played in the same way no matter where you are in the world. If you are coaching a group of teenagers in any small town around the world, they will be playing with the same rules as the professional players they see on TV.''

Blatter said goal-line technology would lead to the introduction of video replays which would disrupt the rhythm of the game.

''If the IFAB had approved goal-line technology, what would prevent the approval of technology for other aspects of the game?'' he added. ''Every decision in every area of the pitch would soon be questioned.

''No matter which technology is applied, at the end of the day a decision will have to be taken by a human being. This being the case, why remove the responsibility from the referee to give it to someone else?

''It is often the case that, even after a slow-motion replay, ten different experts will have 10 different opinions on what the decision should have been. Fans love to debate any given incident in a game. It is part of the human nature of our sport.''

Blatter added that FIFA's goal is to improve the quality of refereeing, which is why experiments such as with additional referees or the role of the fourth official will continue.

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