Goal-line technology to confirm whether or not a goal has been scored and the use of the Islamic headscarf were approved by soccer’s ruling body the International Football Association Board (IFAB) on Thursday.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter, formerly an opponent of technology, reaffirmed the world governing body’s support after a shot from Ukraine’s Marco Devic at Euro 2012 appeared to cross the line before being hooked clear by England defender John Terry.
After a meeting in Zurich, the International Football Association Board said it will allow the Hawk-Eye and the GoalRef systems, which use technology to tell whether the ball has crossed the goal line. The systems will aid officials, who will still base their rulings on what they see on the field.
It’s planned that the systems will be used at the Club World Cup and at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Pressure has been growing on soccer’s governing body following a series of high-profile incidents over the years where teams have not been awarded goals even though the ball has clearly crossed the line.
The most prominent was at the 2010 World Cup when Frank Lampard’s infamous phantom goal for England against Germany in the 2010 World Cup finals was disallowed when it was clearly over the line. Germany, leading 2-1 at the time, went on to win 4-1.
Allowing the hijab
IFAB also lifted a ban on the headscarf or hijab.
The garment had previously been banned due to safety concerns and because it was not recognized in the laws of the game.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) unanimously overturned the ban and agreed to re-write the laws after studying reports from FIFA’s medical officer.
“Safety and medical issues have been removed for the use of the headscarf and it is approved that players can have the head scarf,” FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke told reporters.
He said a further meeting in October would discuss the details.
“The only remaining point now is now the color and design of the headscarf,” he said.
The move came after a campaign in favor of the hijab from FIFA vice-president and executive committee member Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan.
Other sports such as rugby and taekwondo already allow the use of the hijab.
Last year the women's soccer team from Iran were prevented from playing their 2012 Olympic second round qualifying match against Jordan because they refused to remove their hijabs before kickoff.
Iran, who had topped their group in the first round of Olympic qualifiers, were punished with an automatic 3-0 defeat, which abruptly ended their dreams of qualifying for the London games.
IFAB, founded in 1886, is soccer’s ultimate law-making body, comprising four members from FIFA and four from the British associations.