x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Blatter asks for time on revamping Fifa and goal-line technology

Subject to accuracy and affordability, rules and technology might be used at the 2014 World Cup.

RIO DE JANEIRO // Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, has asked for more time to tackle corruption and introducing goal-line technology, possibly at the 2014 World Cup.

There has been a huge push for football to follow sports such as cricket and tennis in embracing technological help for officials with the argument brought into sharp focus by England having a 'goal' ruled out against Germany at the last World Cup despite replays having shown that the ball had crossed the line.

"In March next year, we will have a final decision on goal-line technology. If it's proved to be accurate and affordable, it's possible that the international board will adopt this technology during the 2014 World Cup," Blatter told a news conference.

"If this is the case then other football associations will have the right to use the goal-line technology."

Fifa will also decide in 2012 whether or not to have two extra officials behind the goalline as a "general rule".

Blatter was defiant though as he addressed the media for the first time after the banned Asian football boss and his former ally Mohamed bin Hammam called him a "dictator" and dared Fifa and the Ethics Committee to provide proof that he offered cash for votes to upstage Blatter in the elections for Fifa presidency.

"I am not alone. I am not a dictator as has been said," said Blatter, who is in Rio to attend Saturday's draw for the 2014 World Cup.

He added there will be "zero tolerance for everybody, on the pitch and off it... not only for my neighbour, my friends, my colleagues, my opponents, referees, but also for presidents of associations".

"Not only are we working against corruption, but also against doping and discrimination.

"All this work has started. We now have work against illegal betting... you have seen the incredible number of federations implicated in fixed matches."

"I can't comment on the decisions of the ethics committee... but it will be reinforced," he said.

"Not only to have a code of ethics but also to have a code of conduct."