Football

Brady welcomes extra officials

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Republic of Ireland assistant manager Liam Brady is resigned to the fact the only positive outcome from his side's World Cup heartache will be the introduction of extra officials behind each goal at next year's finals in South Africa.

FIFA are on Wednesday expected to approve UEFA president Michel Platini's plan of having five match officials - an extra assistant referee behind each goal - at the showpiece tournament following the controversy surrounding France's winning goal in the play-off against the Republic, when Thierry Henry blatantly handballed in the build-up.

The system, being trialled in this season's Europa League, looks set to be given the thumbs-up at an emergency meeting of the world governing body's executive committee in Cape Town.

The Football Association of Ireland had hoped for inclusion as a 33rd team at the finals but, with FIFA rejecting that idea yesterday, Brady insisted the introduction of extra officials would be some small consolation.

Brady told BBC Radio Five Live: "(Diego) Maradona knocked the ball in with his hand in the 1986 World Cup and we've still got the same situation arising in 2009 and I think that has to be a step in the right direction, and if we have to be the country that suffered to bring it about, then so be it.

"It's a good thing for football."

Should Wednesday's emergency meeting approve the introduction of extra officials, the proposal would then go to the International Football Association Board (IFAB) - the game's rule-making body - for a vote, but it would almost certainly be passed.

One FIFA executive committee member told Press Association Sport: "The mood is that something has to be done and the easiest solution is to bring in the extra assistant referees."

The IFAB is made up of the four home associations, who each have a vote, and FIFA, who have four votes. Any proposal needs six out of eight votes to be carried.

Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith has already revealed to Press Association Sport that he would look kindly on the five-referees plan, and England are also nailed on to back FIFA and UEFA because they will not want to upset them in the year of their bid for the 2018 World Cup.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Europa League
Football
Thierry Henry
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