Skip to main content

Michel Platini puts faith in referees over technology

By Amanda Davies and Tom McGowan, CNN
updated 12:49 PM EDT, Mon March 10, 2014
Deciding whether or not a shot has crossed the line has long been an issue in football. Arguably the most famous incident was in the 1966 World Cup final, when England's Geoff Hurst saw his shot in extra-time bounce down off the underside of the West Germany crossbar. A goal was awarded, giving England a 3-2 lead, with the hosts going on to win the match 4-2. Deciding whether or not a shot has crossed the line has long been an issue in football. Arguably the most famous incident was in the 1966 World Cup final, when England's Geoff Hurst saw his shot in extra-time bounce down off the underside of the West Germany crossbar. A goal was awarded, giving England a 3-2 lead, with the hosts going on to win the match 4-2.
HIDE CAPTION
A legacy of controversies
Azerbaijan folk hero
History repeated
Ukraine unlucky
A Mata of inches
Hawkeye
Decision Referral System (DRS)
Television Match Official (TMO)
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Michel Platini reiterates his preference for extra officials over technology in football
  • UEFA president says the cost of installing goal-line technology is prohibitive
  • GLT was introduced in the English Premier League at the start of the 2013-14 season
  • Platini defends UEFA's decision to expand the European Championships to 24 teams

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- It makes its World Cup debut in Brazil later this year and is already being used by the English Premier League, but the head of European football remains resistant to the introduction of goal-line technology (GLT) for Europe's top competitions.

The technology allows referees to make almost instant decisions on awarding goals if the ball has crossed the line.

However, UEFA president Michel Platini advocates using extra officials behind the goal, a method used in the Champions League, Europa League and Italy's top division.

The Frenchman, who won the European Championships with his country in 1984, prefers UEFA to invest in grassroots football and develop young players rather than spend millions of dollars on installing GLT in stadia.

England

The Hawk-Eye Goal Decision System was introduced into the English Premier League at the start of the 2013-14 season.

Italy

Italy's Serie A has used extra officials behind the goals since 2012. Additional officials are also deployed in the Champions League and the Europa League.

Germany

A decision on whether or not to introduce GLT in the Bundesliga and the Bundesliga 2 will be made before the end of the current season.

Spain

Speaking in April last year, La Liga chief executive Francisco Roca said Spain would look to implement GLT within two or three years.

"I prefer that we have more referees to see if there is a penalty foul and if the ball is going over the line," Platini told CNN. "We don't need perfect camera to see the ball.

"For the Champions League, it's too expensive," added Platini, who despite his philosophical opposition to GLT, admitted it could be used during Euro 2016 if that was the consensus of UEFA's executive and referee committees, set to be held in France.

Estimating that GLT woud costs €52 million to use in Champions League matches, Platini said: "I prefer to give these millions of euros to grassroots, to the young players in football, to some infrastructures so they can play football."

England's top flight adopted GLT for the first time at the start of the 2013-14 season, while the Dutch Eredivisie also uses the technology.

Germany's top two divisions will make a decision on whether to use GLT for the 2014-15 campaign before the end of the current season.

Bayer Leverkusen's "ghost goal" against Hoffenheim in October, when Stefan Kiessling's header went into goal through a hole in the side of the net, illustrated the mistakes that can be made when techonology isn't used.

But Platini insisted the example of Italy shows how using more officials can reduce refereeing errors.

Read: Platini back Russia's World Cup inclusion

"If you want to make a point about five referees, you have to go to Italy because it's been implemented for two years and is working very well," he added. "Thirty five national associations are using the five referees in the world.

"But in Africa, there is only one referee. They don't have the money to afford GLT. There is no money. It's easier to have five referees that you don't pay."

Platini's homeland will host an expanded European Championships in 2016 -- with 24 teams set to compete compared to 16 in 2012 -- before the tournament changes format ahead of the 2020 edition.

Stefan Kiessling's 70th minute header against Hoffenheim goes into the side netting but referee Felix Brych awarded a goal in their 2-1 away win. Stefan Kiessling's 70th minute header against Hoffenheim goes into the side netting but referee Felix Brych awarded a goal in their 2-1 away win.
Bundesliga 'ghost' goal result stands
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
>
>>
Bundesliga \'ghost\' goal result stands Bundesliga 'ghost' goal result stands
Michel Platini says he had misgivings about traveling to Argentina for the 1978 World Cup but chose to go to a country under notorious military rule in order to air his views in public. Michel Platini says he had misgivings about traveling to Argentina for the 1978 World Cup but chose to go to a country under notorious military rule in order to air his views in public.
World Cup worries
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
>
>>
Sporting Concerns Sporting Concerns

Rather than one single country hosting Euro 2020, it will be played across 13 different European cities with the venues set to be announced following a vote in September.

Blog: Can football change the world?

The pan-European format is Platini's way of marking the 60th "birthday" of the tournament and the former Juventus player wants to see Turkey host the final.

"Turkey lost against my country 6-5 (in the vote for Euro 2016) and it is a long time that they have been bidding for some things," added Platini.

"They bid for the Euros, they bid for the Olympic Games and I think in the end it will be a beautiful festival for one week with the semifinal in a big country, a beautiful country ... like Istanbul," said Platini, referring to the Turkish city.

Critics have argued the expansion of teams in the Euros will dilute the quality of the competition, but Platini dismissed those fears.

"I am a man of football, I never will propose to the national association something which is not good for the football," he said. "Never.

"I have to receive the feedback of the fifty-four national associations. Fifty-two were in favor, two were not in favor: Germany and England, but they say we move with the majority.

Platini outlines UEFA's racism reforms
Platini: Bundesliga raises the bar

"I think 24 teams in Europe are good (enough) to win. That means that the quality of the football is not a problem.

"I have to take care about what is good for the football and I only do it for the football. And to me, it was good for the football to extend to 24."

Platini has been head of UEFA since 2007 and a bid by him for the presidency of FIFA, football's global governing body, has been mooted.

The current FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been in the position since 1998 and he had announced his intention to step down from the role ahead of a presidential election in 2015.

But he has since said he will reverse that decision if the FIFA members ask him to remain.

Platini, a FIFA vice president, was tight-lipped on whether he will be running against Blatter and his fellow Frenchman Jerome Champagne, who announced his intention to run for the presidency in January.

"I didn't think about that a lot because I am very busy and it's so far, one year from now and we don't know what could be," said Platini. "I have to speak with the national association of Europe, I have to travel and I don't take the time to think about that.

"I am working here. We have many projects ... After this work, perhaps I will think about FIFA ... perhaps I don't know."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:23 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
updated 8:53 AM EST, Wed December 10, 2014
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
updated 9:09 AM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
updated 9:48 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
updated 12:22 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
updated 2:19 PM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
updated 6:34 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
updated 6:41 PM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
updated 9:10 AM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT