World body postpone 'goal judge' experiment


ZURICH: Plans to experiment with a fourth official acting as a ‘goal judge’ during next month’s World Youth Championships have been postponed until August, FIFA said on Friday. 

Following a meeting of FIFA’s Referees Committee, it was decided not to go ahead and test the proposed system during the Under-20 tournament in Abu Dhabi, but to introduce it on an experimental basis at the Under-17 World Championships in Finland between Aug 13-30 instead. 

FIFA said that the ‘goal judge’ experiment had been postponed because the International Board had insufficient time to introduce rules regarding an additional referee. 

“We decided after the World Cup that we did not want to use video evidence,” said FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren. “One proposal was to use a goal judge behind the goal. 

“It was going to be looked at in the Under-20 World Youth Championships but the International Football Board do not have the time to introduce rules. 

“The board have decided to try the goal judge in the Under-17 World Championships, which was where the back-pass rule was first tried.” 

The decision to trial a fourth official was taken first last October following much controversy concerning several goalmouth decisions taken by officials during the 2002 World Cup Finals in Japan and South Korea last year. 

Goalmouth and penalty area action, in particular, is prone to producing highly-inflammatory decisions by the referees. 

The changes were recommended following the controversies, particularly in Seoul, where South Korea enjoyed great support and, it was claimed, good fortune with several critical decisions. – Reuters  

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