IFBA to trial additional match officials

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

In response to the plethora of erroneous goal line rulings during this year’s World Cup, those who decide the rules of the football have witnessed harsh scrutiny from fans, member associations, and confederations.

On July 21st, 2010, proposals from Coupe de la Ligue, the UEFA Champions League, and seven other member associations and confederations were accommodated when the International Football Association Board (IFBA) voted in favor of the expansion of the experimental use of two additional field officials, positioned at each goal.

This is not a novel experiment. Every match of 2009-2010 UEFA League tournament (previously the UEFA Cup) was officiated by one main ref, two sideline refs, and two goal refs.  At a special meeting in Zurich earlier in May, the board reviewed this experiment and decided to see it through until 26th IFAB Annual General Meeting in 2012.

Instead of continuing the experiment for solely the UEFA League, the IFBA decided to permit any member association or confederation that requested to take part, under a couple of conditions: associations have to do it for every game, they have to pay for it, and they have to do it long enough to assist in a final decision about the experiment in 2012.

The member associations and confederations that will utilize two addition assistant officials between now and 2012 are Campeonato Baiano de Futebol Feminino, Campeonato Carioca de 2011, Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación (FMF), Torneo Clausura 2011, Torneo Apertura 2011 and Torneo Clausura 2012, Fédération Française de Football (FFF), Coupe de la Ligue 2010/2011 (League Cup) Union des associations européennes de football (UEFA),UEFA Champions League 2010/2011 and 2011/2012, UEFA Europa League 2010/2011 and 2011/2012, and UEFA Super Cup 2010 and 2011.

While many consider the recent IFBA ruling to be a productive push towards the elimination of mistaken goal line judgments, others consider it to be a superfluous delay of the inevitable introduction of the technologies used in Tennis, Basketball, and American Football. According FIFA’s press release concerning the new ruling,  “…the Technical Sub-Committee confirmed that goal-line technology will be on the agenda of the next Annual Business Meeting of the IFAB in October 2010.”

More people around the world are tuning into football games each year, and the quality of the broadcast (including the camera angles and resolution definition) is only witnessing dramatic improvements. If football wishes to preserve its technologically unadulterated officiation, it will have to prove demonstratively to its fans that the additional goal refs can do as good of a job.

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One Response to IFBA to trial additional match officials

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