FIFA removes touchline TV sets at Confed Cup

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PRETORIA: FIFA removed television sets from the touchline for the remainder of the Confederations Cup to ensure there is no repeat of the controversy surrounding Brazil’s winning goal against Egypt.

The Egyptians appealed to FIFA to protest against referee Howard Webb’s award of a last-minute penalty to Brazil after appearing to consult with a match official who had watched a replay of the incident.

Officials are encouraged to consult with their colleagues and the decision, which sealed Brazil’s 4-3 win, was correct, but the use of replays is not sanctioned by football’s ruling body.

“To make sure there is no more doubt about the television set, about the match officials at the line, as from yesterday on there is no more television sets there, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Thursday. “It is away, it is finished. So nobody can say there is interference of videos.

“It is away and this is the result of a situation that could have created some problems.

Blatter said the incident in Bloemfontein on Monday had only confirmed his opinion that replay technology was not suitable for use in football.

“I am still of the opinion that we should not use video for decisions in the field of play, Blatter said. “And this principle is not my principle: it has been confirmed and reconfirmed by the International Football Association Board, the guardians and custodians of the laws of the game.

Blatter said that next season s trials in the Europa League using an additional two match officials on the touchline could eliminate any debate over the need for replays.

This is the future and we will see after one year how this will come out, Blatter said. But no more monitors in front of the match official.

Blatter also expressed his confidence that South Africa can provide the transport necessary for the 450,000 fans expected at next year s World Cup despite experiencing for himself the traffic problems that can blight the major cities.

Blatter was 15 minutes late for his regular pre-match meeting with the media on Thursday after getting stuck in traffic on his way to Loftus Versfeld to watch Brazil take on the United States in the Confederations Cup.

But Blatter said that work to improve highways and build dedicated bus lanes for the 2010 World Cup were partly responsible for the short-term problems.

The traffic problem we have is because they are preparing the roads and so they have to try to take all the traffic on one lane, Blatter said. I am sure these problems will be and must be solved for the World Cup. There will be a lot more traffic than there is now.

We knew from the very beginning there will be logistic problems. That s why we also have this rehearsal.

While he acknowledged that improvements have to be made for next year, Blatter said that he was mostly happy with how South Africa had hosted the Confederations Cup so far.

I have (feedback) from the eight teams and all eight teams are full of compliments about how they are received and treated here in South Africa, Blatter said. I ve been visiting the stadia and cities. The general ambiance is a very good one.

So we are satisfied.

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