Goal-Line Technology to Debut

The secretary general of FIFA says Thursday’s kickoff of the 2012 Club World Cup represents “a kind of revolution” for world football.
Jerome Valcke in Tokyo. (Getty Images)
”Tomorrow will be the first time that goal-line technology will be officially used in a game,” Jerome Valcke was quoted by FIFA.com.
He was speaking alongside Japanese Football Association president Kuniya Daini at the tournament’s opening press conference in Tokyo, where FIFA finished testing two GLT systems Tuesday and conducted a training session for referees.

Hawk-Eye and GoalRef are installed at one stadium each for the Club World Cup, which features champions of the six confederations in an eight-match, 11-day tournament.

The former involves a series of high-speed cameras while the latter places a computer chip inside the match ball.
“We must ensure that when the ball goes into the goal, the referee must get the information that the ball has gone in,” Valcke said Wednesday. 
“The referee has the final decision. The technology won’t change the speed, value or spirit of the game. There is no reason to be against this technology.”
FIFA will decide Dec. 17 which of the two technologies to use at the 2013 Confederations and 2014 World Cup, both in Brazil.

West Ham Win Olympic Stadium Bid

West Ham United is the top choice to take over Olympic Stadium now that the Games are gone.

London 2012’s opening night of athletics at Olympic Stadium. (WFI)

BBC Sport reports that the Premier League club was tapped as preferred bidder at a Wednesday meeting of the London Legacy Development Corporation, putting the Hammers in line to begin a 99-year lease when the venue reopens in August 2015.

“It will, if it goes through, mean a football legacy for the stadium,” said LLDC chairman and London Mayor Boris Johnson, “but there is still a lot of negotiation to go on between the LLDC and West Ham United about the terms of the deal.”

Changes to the $690 million stadium proposed by the Hammers and Barclay’s Premier League include the installation of retractable seating and the extension of the venue’s roof at a combined cost of up to $250 million.

West Ham has long been the preferred bidder, but legal wrangling forced the LLDC to scrap its plans to make the east London football club its tenant ahead of the 2014-2015 Premier League season.

In the latest round of bidding, three other proposals emerged from Leyton Orient, the UCFB College of Football Business and a group trying to transform the 80,000-seat stadium into part of a Formula One track.

Olympic Stadium remains one of the only venues in Olympic Park whose legacy is not yet set in stone. Athletics is at the heart of proposals, as promised to the International Olympic Committee in Singapore seven years ago. The venue is already guaranteed to host the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships, is favorited to stage the 2017 IPC Athletics World Championships and is also on a shortlist of potential sites for the 2015 IRB Rugby World Cup in England.

More Support for Platini’s Euro 2020 Plan

The president of the German Football Association says Michel Platini’s proposal to stage an expanded Euro 2020 across as many as 13 countries boasts strong support among UEFA’s membership.
Wolfgang Niersbach, president of the DFB. (Getty Images)
Wolfgang Niersbach was speaking ahead of a Thursday meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee at the House of European Football in Nyon, where the idea is expected to be a hot topic and could possibly be agreed to in principle.
According to an Associated Press report, Niersbach says Platini’s plan has proved popular during recent consultations with UEFA’s 53 member countries, echoing comments made last week by DFB general secretary Helmut Sandrock and last month by Theo Zwanziger, a member of the Executive Committees of both UEFA and FIFA.
“This is the general trend around these meetings,” the DFB boss was quoted Wednesday by AP.
“That UEFA should do it as an exception on the occasion of celebrating the 60th birthday of the European Championship.”
When Turkey turned out to be the only traditional 2020 bidder earlier this year, the UEFA president reopened the process to member FAs and has since floated his plan to stage a 24-team tournament across up to 13 separate European cities to mark the Euros milestone.
The Football Association has already told UEFA it’s keen to stage the Euro 2020 final at Wembley, while Scotland, Wales and Ireland are also expressing interest.
Platini has said his idea is a one-off for 2020 and would only be considered if UEFA’s 53 member associations are in favor.
The UEFA Ex-Co will publish its detailed bid regulations later this month and is expected to make a decision early next year.

By INSIDER’s Matthew Grayson

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