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Ferguson and Wenger back calls for video ref help

20 November 2009 12:30

MANCHESTER (AFP) - Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger joined forces Friday to call for video technology to be used in football to avoid controversies like the one that has marred France's qualification for the World Cup.

The issue over whether football should embrace the technology available was re-ignited on Wednesday night when France's Thierry Henry used his hand to control the ball before crossing for William Gallas to score the goal that ended Ireland's chances of going to South Africa.

Ferguson supports change but the Scot fears that all discussion on the issue is futile because world football's governing body, FIFA, are simply not interested in revolutionising the role of the referee.

He said: "The stance is that they prefer human decision-making rather than technology decision-making and until they change their mind there is nothing you can do about it - you have to convince them, nobody else.

"It is not a matter of asking every player and manager in the world their opinion because they will all share the same one, as I do myself, that technology can play a part and can help referees in a situation like the other night."

Gallas?s goal sent France to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa with a 2-1 aggregate victory while Ireland have been left counting the cost of some extreme misfortune.

Ferguson added: "My thoughts were with (Ireland coach) Giovanni Trapattoni. He prepared a team that put in an absolutely magnificent performance. You couldn't ask for better from a coach but it was taken away from him.

"It happens and it's denied a couple of our players the great experience of playing in the World Cup finals and you'll never get a better experience than that."

Ferguson's call for the introduction of technological support for match officials was backed by Arsenal boss Wenger, who argued that mistakes like the Henry one could no longer be accepted given the stakes involved.

"Football accepts that a billion people see it, one guy doesn't see it and it is the one who prevails. It cannot work," Wenger said.

"We cannot accept that an obvious decision is wrong because we do not want to give ourselves all the needed help we can have in the modern game.

"Being at the game, I saw the referee giving a goal knowing that something was wrong and that is really sad. He didn't see it, I can understand, the linesman didn't see it, but they couldn't get any help.

"In the end, he gave a goal, already knowing that it wasn't a goal. We cannot accept that in our sport and you have to do something about it."

Wenger said the referee should be able to consult video footage in such cases.

"We cannot sort out all the cases but we have to sort out as many cases as we can."

Wenger also admitted to feeling a little 'embarrassed' by the nature of France's qualification.

"For the sense of justice it is quite embarrassing to see," he said. "I think even France is embarrassed. We didn't play well at all and we won the game and won the qualification with a goal that was not a goal."

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