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Blatter rules out video replays in 2006

Italy's Christian Panucci (far left) protests against referee Moreno Byron of Ecuador after an Italian player was sent off Keystone Archive

The FIFA president, Switzerland's Sepp Blatter, has ruled out the use of video replays at the next football World Cup despite protests over disputed calls.

The head of football’s world governing body told the Associated Press he would more readily accept human error in referee decisions than a drive towards scientific accuracy.

“If our game is becoming scientific then we will take away its emotion and nobody would have any discussion any longer if it was offside, not offside; if it was inside, not inside the penalty box,” he said.

“This would destroy an essential element in this game – and this is emotion,” he continued.

Some of the countries eliminated from the current World Cup jointly hosted by Japan and South Korea have protested about disputed calls during the tournament.

Proposals have been made to introduce television cameras and instant replays to rule on various infractions – from balls out of play to off-sides as well as handballs or fouls inside the penalty box.

But Blatter insisted such proposals would not be implemented during his term as president.

“I will make sure that no technical help will be introduced in refereeing because we shall rely on persons and human beings,” he said.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR