Technophobe Fifa remains isolated

Written by Reuters | Updated: Jun 30 2010, 06:20am hrs
Fifas refusal to use technology to help decide on close calls has left soccer isolated in major international sport, clinging to the idea that human error is somehow preferable to computer-backed truth.

While other sports have happily embraced the use of video replays or infrared systems to review goals and other close calls, earlier this year soccers governing body ruled out the use of any such system for the foreseeable future. The issue came into sharper focus than ever after decisions, shown by instant replays to be incorrect beyond any reasonable doubt, altered the balance of Sundays two World Cup second round matches.

First it was a shot from Frank Lampard that clattered against the German crossbar and bounced down well over the line when England, chasing a comeback, were 2-1 down. Germany, clearly rattled at the time, went on to win 4-1.

In the later game at Soccer City, Mexico had been enjoying the better of the game against Argentina when Carlos Tevez scored from a clearly offside position, setting Diego Maradonas side on their way to a 3-1 win.

Fifa spokesman Nicolas Maingot was in an uncomfortable position on Monday when asked for a response.

He was unable to do anything but refer reporters to recent statements from Fifa president Sepp Blatter, who reiterated his opposition to the use of technology after the sports lawmaking body decided against its introduction in March.

The game must be played in the same way no matter where you are in the world, Blatter said on Fifas website. The simplicity and universality of the game is one of the reasons for its success.