Balls with bugs could be used in World Cup

Fifa is to consider using an electronic microchip in balls at the 2006 World Cup finals if experiments prove successful, Fifa president Sepp Blatter said on Monday.

The microchip, which is supposed to confirm whether or not a ball has crossed the goal line, is being tested at the under-17 world championship in Peru in September and October.

Soccer’s world governing body has taken the move because of mistakes made by match officials. In some cases, even TV cameras fail to spot whether goals should have counted.

“We will test the goal-line technology at the Fifa Under-17 World Championship in Peru. If it works OK, we could introduce the chipped ball at the World Cup 2006,” Blatter said ahead of the Confederations Cup, which starts on Wednesday.

“We will run the test but I don’t know that it will be

successful,” Blatter added. “But at least we are going to try it.” Blatter cited two incidents where rival teams have disputed goals.

At the 1966 World Cup final, a linesman ruled that Geoff Hurst’s shot had hit the crossbar and bounced over the line for England’s third goal against West Germany at Wembley.

Although the ball bounced back into play, the goal stood and England went on to win 4-2.

More recently, Liverpool was awarded a goal this season in the semifinals of the Champions League against Chelsea. The Blues, however, were convinced that defender William Gallas had cleared the ball off the line.

Liverpool won the game 1-0 and went on to win the trophy.

“There were 12 cameras at the game but nobody was able to say for sure if the ball crossed the line or not,” Blatter said. “It’s part of the game.

“Like the players, referees make mistakes. The only people who don’t make mistakes are the spectators. The technology will take away the fun of discussing whether the ball went in or not. They will be missing out on something.” ‑Sapa-AP

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