Sir Geoff backs goal technology

Last updated at 13:19 06 January 2005


England's 1966 World Cup final hat-trick hero Sir Geoff Hurst has backed calls for the introduction of goal-line technology ahead of FIFA's scheduled discussion of the proposal next month.

Spurs midfielder Pedro Mendes' shot, which was disallowed even though the ball clearly crossed the line at Old Trafford, is the most recent example of a disputed decision that could have been solved by technology.

But Hurst's famous goal in the 1966 World Cup final, when the ball struck the underside of the bar and bounced over - as it was deemed by the linesman - the line, is perhaps the most contentious such decision of all time.

"A goal-line camera would have avoided all the controversy," Hurst told the Evening Standard.

"I believe video technology would be helpful to referees in some cases, providing the process was unobtrusive and didn't impinge too much on the natural flow of the game."

German protests

Despite the protests of the West German players, referee Gottfried Dienst gave the goal after consulting his Azerbaijan linesman, Tofik Bakhramov.

The debate over the goal has raged ever since and Hurst was in Baku last year to unveil a statue in Bakhramov's honour ahead of England's friendly against Azerbaijan.

The Old Trafford controversy has brought the issue back into the spotlight and the International Board, which regulates the laws of the game, are already scheduled to consider the technology available to determine if the ball has crossed the line next month.

It will be discussed at their next annual meeting at the Miskin Manor Hotel in the Vale of Glamorgan on February 26.

FIFA revealed: "Under the items for discussion and in the context of goal line technology, the International Football Association Board will receive a presentation on a new technical proposal.

"A demonstration of the system is also planned at a time and place yet to be decided."

That demonstration is expected to take place at the Millennium Stadium, with ball manufacturers adidas working to finalise the microchip technology in time for the tests.

The Football League have already indicated a willingness to put any successful technology on trial, although the International Board must first pass any such proposal with a three-quarters majority.

The board contains members from each of the English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish Football Associations, while FIFA also have four votes on behalf of their member associations. Six votes are therefore required for any proposal to succeed.

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