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By ESPN Staff

Michel Platini promises 'zero tolerance' over refereeing

UEFA president Michel Platini has warned that there will be virtually "zero tolerance'' of mistakes by match officials at games where there are five referees.

The system, with an extra assistant behind each goal-line, is being trialled in the Champions League and Europa League for the next two seasons.

Platini, speaking in Monaco ahead of the Champions League draw, insisted the five-official system was the way forward despite a number of high-profile mistakes in the World Cup finals and qualifiers - most notably Thierry Henry's handball against the Republic of Ireland which took France into the tournament in South Africa.

He said: "I think it's a very good system. We have always been very tolerant as referees cannot see everything, as with Thierry Henry and the (Frank) Lampard goal against Germany. Now with this system they can see everything.

"If they cannot see if it's gone in they should get another job. If you cannot see the ball has crossed the line from three metres away then you are no good.

"There should be near zero tolerance with regard to referees because they should be able to see everything now.

"The Champions League final with only three referees makes me nervous because when it comes to decisions they can't see everything. With five referees we can be 99% or 100% certain.''

UEFA have appointed former Italian official Pierluigi Collina as their referees' chief and he will put in place a system to monitor referees' fitness and improve performances.

Both Platini and Collina admitted, however, that there would always be mistakes - there was a clear handball by Jermain Defoe when he scored Tottenham's second goal in their 4-0 win over Young Boys, a match being monitored by five officials.

Asked about Defoe's handball, Collina said he had not seen the incident but added: "We have to consider that the handball could have been evaluated by the official as not deliberate.''

Platini stood firm in his opposition to goal-line technology however, despite FIFA agreeing for the issue to be re-opened by the International FA Board, the game's law-making body.

He added: "So far the technology has not worked very well. I am more in favour of the experiment where the extra referee can see when the ball has gone over the line. For me that is the only solution.

"You also have to consider the costs - technology needs all sorts of video cameras and that may be good for Germany and England, who have a lot of cameras at games, but what about other countries?

"Eventually it will be commentators deciding what's happening in television studios and the referees will be jobless.''

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