Sports News

Technology would be a passion killer: Blatter

PRETORIA (Reuters) - Using technology in soccer will only serve to damage the passion and emotion felt for the sport, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Sunday.

Soccer’s world governing body continues to resist using technology to aid decisions on controversial incidents during matches, including helping referee’s to judge whether a ball has crossed the goal line.

Blatter said the sport should keep its human element, allowing everyone to have their say.

“When you are in a football match there is no social level, everybody is the same and everybody in the stadium and at their television is an expert,” he said at a media briefing with South African President Jacob Zuma ahead of the start of the World Cup on Friday.

“Everybody is an expert and that is why we are not going into technology on the field of play, because if you have technology on the field of play, then there are no more experts.”

Soccer’s rule-making body, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), in March voted against using technology to decide if the ball crosses the goal line in cases where it does not touch the net.

Blatter believed science would destroy the passion that made the sport special.

“Then the science is coming in the game, no discussions ... we don’t want that. We want to have these emotions, and then a little bit more than emotions, passion.”

South Africa hosts the world’s most watched sporting event from June 11-July 11.

Reporting by Gordon Bell; Editing by Patrick Johnston