Champions League - 'Zero tolerance' for poor refs

Eurosport - Thu, 26 Aug 16:54:00 2010

Bad referees have no place in football and will no longer be tolerated by UEFA, according to organisation president Michel Platini.

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"If you cannot see the ball has crossed the line from three metres away then you are no good," he said.

"The time has come -- there will be no more excuses for referees."

Platini, who had the original idea to use five officials at Europa League and Champions League matches, remained steadfast in his opposition to goal-line technology.

He said the experiment with five officials would eradicate a lot of problems in and around the penalty area.

The experiment sees one additional assistant standing behind each goal-line, alerting the referee to fouls in the penalty area and when the ball has crossed the line for a goal.

"I am more in favour of the experiment where the extra referee can see when the ball has gone over the line. For me that is the only solution," said the UEFA president.

"I think it's a very good system. We have always been very tolerant as referees cannot see everything.

"Now with this system they can see everything. They have an assistant standing behind the goal-line. If they cannot see if it's gone in they should get another job.

"There should be near zero tolerance with regard to referees because they should be able to see everything now."

Frenchman Platini added: "A Champions League final with only three referees makes me nervous now ... with five referees we can be 99 per cent or 100 per cent certain."

Platini said UEFA was also introducing new guidelines and a management structure for their top class referees under former Italian great Pierluigi Collina, who took charge of the 2002 World Cup final between Brazil and Germany.

Collina, UEFA's new chief refereeing officer, said he welcomed the experiment with five officials.

"The new system acts as a deterrent for players not to pull and push as they normally do from set pieces in the penalty area," said the Italian.

"They could get away with it before because the referee cannot see everything from a set piece in the penalty box but with an additional assistant it makes it possible to see everything."

Collina added: "It is time to change the image of the referee. They must be fitter, they are no longer just an official, they are an athlete among athletes."

Eurosport

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