NYON, Switzerland (Reuters) - The Champions League and Euro 2012 qualifiers next season will feature two extra linesmen at all matches after UEFA decided to extend the five-referees experiment on Thursday.
The Europa League, where the experiment was conducted for the first time in senior competition this season, will also feature the new system, UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino told reporters.
The system, backed by UEFA president Michel Platini, features two extra linesmen, one behind each goal, to help referees spot penalty area infringements and determine whether the ball has crossed the line.
Soccer’s rule-making body, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), last week voted to allow confederations and national associations to adopt the system on a voluntary basis over the next two years.
The IFAB had earlier this year rejected the use of any form of goal-line technology to help referees despite pressure from coaches, players and supporters.
Infantino refuted suggestions that the five-referee system had been given a lukewarm response.
“If the enthusiasm was not there, the IFAB would not have decided to authorise an additional two-year period,” he said.
“We have made this experiment in the Europa League and it went well.
“Something else must be done to help the referees, you add eyes and you help the referee to cover their ground in a much better way.
He added: “It’s difficult to find anything negative in this experiment, although it will have to evolve, for example how shall they move, where do they have to be placed?.”
“But first results were positive and we want to do something for the good of football.”
UEFA said the system would be used from the final qualifying round in the Champions League, the start of the group stage of the Europa League and through the Euro 2012 qualifying competition.
It’s use in any competition has to be approved by FIFA which is seen as a formality.
(Editing by Alison Wildey
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