FIFA supports goal-line tech
FIFA is willing to allow goal-line technology decisions to be shown to fans on big screens in stadiums and to TV viewers. In a document to be assessed by soccer’s rulemakers yesterday, FIFA reversed its previous stance that referees could be undermined if the results from the high-tech aids were revealed. FIFA president Sepp Blatter said fans “must” know what the computers are telling referees on contentious goals. “It’s not secret,” Blatter said on Friday ahead of the International Football Association Board meeting in Edinburgh. “Once we have the technology and it shows it’s a goal or not a goal, we have to be transparent, otherwise there’s no need to do it. We will do it. It is something we need in football,” he said. Competition organizers will have the final say and be able to prevent the decision of a goal-line technology system being publicly known, as it is in tennis, while referees have the power to ignore the goal-line decisions. English FA general secretary Alex Horne said he would welcome TV viewers being able to see how a device ruled on a disputed goal. “Certainly the broadcasters need to have that accessibility ... to show the goal-line incident, because that’s at the heart of the integrity of the decision that has to be made,” Horne said.
Taiwan lose opener
Taiwan lost their opening AFC Challenge Cup Group A match 2-1 to India at the Thuwanna YTC Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar, yesterday. India’s Jewel Raja opened the scoring five minutes before halftime, but Taiwan leveled through Lee Tai-lin seven minutes into the second half. The opening match of the qualifying tournament looked to be headed for a draw, until Raja fired India’s second with just two minutes to go. Group A also features Myanmar and Guam, who kicked off later yesterday. Taiwan next face hosts Myanmar tomorrow, with the team finishing top of the qualifying group guaranteed of a place in the finals in the Maldives next year, while the team finishing second faces a playoff round. Taiwan’s final match is against Guam on Wednesday.
Italy to ponder ‘passports’
The Italian soccer federation (FIGC) is considering introducing biological passports and surprise tests to combat doping. Anti-doping is listed as one of the key points for discussion at next week’s federation board meeting. FIGC anti-doping commission president Pino Capua says a project is already underway, and it could start with Italy’s national team. The FIGC says that testing is planned this year for 941 professional soccer matches in Italy, with a total of 2,804 tests — 300 of them EPO and blood tests — at a cost of about 1.5 million euro (US$1.95 million).