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SFA to push for pilot at FIFA's goal-line technology talks

THE Scottish Football Association will make a renewed attempt to introduce goal-line technology when the issue is discussed at a Fifa meeting early in the New Year.

Stewart Regan, the chief executive of the SFA, said the doubt about whether Lee Wallace's header was over the line in the midweek Old Firm game would have been settled if such technology was in use. The Rangers player's effort appeared to cross the line – just – but no goal was given by referee Willie Collum and Celtic went on to win 1-0.

Regan said Collum had faced an impossible call and attached no blame to the referee or his assistants, but he felt the episode showed the value of goal-line technology.

Several companies are carrying out trials of different systems with a view to receiving a licence when the matter is discussed by Fifa's rule-making body, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), in March.

IFAB – consisting of four Fifa representatives and one each from the Scottish, English, Welsh and Northern Irish FA's – will consider the trial results and possibly agree to a pilot study. Gordon Smith, Rangers' director of football, was unsuccessful in pushing through goal-line technology when he voted for it as SFA chief executive in 2010, but Regan will support a renewed attempt next year.

"We are in the entertainment business and we want to give our customers the best possible experience," Regan told Herald Sport. "If there is something out there, in terms of technology, that can improve that experience then I'm all for it. If the technology exists, it should be used."

The most likely system would involve sensors in the goal itself, with an electronic chip in the football. If trials are positive, a competition will be considered for a pilot project.

The SFA previously suggested it would be willing to offer the Scottish Cup or perhaps one of the Scottish Football League competitions, although other countries will also be enthusiastic about hosting a pilot.

Regan said the Wallace incident proved how referees can have an impossible job. "I saw the incident in the Old Firm game and I don't think any players called out for a goal. Nobody realised until half-time, when it was shown again on television, that it was an issue. You can't point a finger at the referee or the assistants, because it happened in the blink of an eye. But if you did have goalline technology, it could prove that the ball was over the line fully or not over.

"Even having looked at it again, step-by-step, I'm still not 100 per cent sure if it was over the line. I think a referee will err on the side of caution if it's not proved to be over the line. Goalline technology would certainly help and clarify matters.

"The referee is not omnipresent, he can only view it like the rest of us, in the blink of an eye from a difficult angle. The referee and the assistants were vindicated in terms of any wrongdoing on their behalf. Even if there had have been goalline technology, I'm not convinced the ball was 100 per cent over the line – even a video referee couldn't have given a goal in this instance."

Ally McCoist, the Rangers manager, said he was certain Wallace's header was over the line and said technology would have proved him correct, although he made no criticism of Collum.

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