Blatter says sorry to England and Mexico

ENGLAND and Mexico received a fulsome apology from Fifa president Sepp Blatter yesterday over refereeing errors during their World Cup round of 16 matches.

ENGLAND and Mexico received a fulsome apology from Fifa president Sepp Blatter yesterday over refereeing errors during their World Cup round of 16 matches.

Blatter also announced that Fifa would discuss the introduction of goal-line technology at a meeting next month in Cardiff in the UK.

He was reacting to two incidents on Sunday. Midfielder Frank Lampard had a goal disallowed despite the fact that the ball clearly crossed the line in England's clash with Germany. The goal would have levelled the score at 2-2.

The Germans went on to win 4-1.

Mexico were also left aggrieved when Argentina striker Carlos Tevez scored their first goal from an offside position. The incident was then shown on the big screen.

Referee Roberto Rosetti was unable to disallow the goal as the rules do not permit match officials from taking such evidence into account.

Argentina went on to win 3-1.

"Personally I deplore it when you see evident referee mistakes but it's not the end of a competition or the end of football, this can happen," Blatter said. "The only thing I did yesterday was to speak to the two federations (England and Mexico) directly concerned by the mistakes.

"I have expressed apologies to them and I understand they are not happy and that people are criticising.

"The English said 'thank you' and accepted that you can win (some) and lose (some), and the Mexicans bowed their heads and accepted it."

Blatter said that the only technology that would be discussed by Fifa would be goal-line technology, which would have made no difference to the Mexico game or indeed to the incident when Thierry Henry's handball set up the crucial goal in the France vs Ireland World Cup playoff last November.

"The only principle we are going to bring back for discussion is goal-line technology," Blatter said.

"Football is a game that never stops and the moment there is a discussion if the ball was in or out, or there was a goalscoring opportunity, do we give a possibility to a team to call for replays once or twice, like in tennis? For situations like the Mexico game you don't need technology."

lSee Page 26 and Let's Go 2010 supplement. - Sapa-AFP

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