Friday 23 March 2018

UEFA may get technology over the line in time for Euro 2016

The tournament organisers have said security will be a priority following the attacks in Paris

UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino during a press conference on Friday. David Maher / SPORTSFILE
UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino during a press conference on Friday. David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Martyn Ziegler

UEFA is set to end years of opposition to goal-line technology and have systems in place for Euro 2016 and next season's Champions League and Europa League competitions.

Michel Platini, the UEFA president who is currently suspended from all football-related activities, has always been strongly opposed to goal-line technology but in his absence the organisation has paved the way for its introduction.

UEFA's executive committee, meeting in Paris, has also set out the plan that will be necessary to elect a new president on May 3 with Platini looking certain to no longer be in the role.

UEFA's general secretary Gianni Infantino told a news conference in Paris: "In terms of goal-line technology and its use in the future, the final decision will be made in January but the executive committee was pretty positive in its mindset.

"If it happens for Euro 2016 then it will also happen for the club competitions for next season, the Champions League and Europa League. This will be in addition to the five assistants."

Infantino said Platini himself had suggested it be considered, and the logistics of introducing systems in 80 venues across Europe would now be looked at.

UEFA will hold an extraordinary congress in Zurich on February 25, the day before the FIFA presidential election. That would be an opportunity to fire the starting gun on UEFA's own presidential election to succeed Platini, with the election taking place two months later in May 3 in Budapest.

Platini is facing a FIFA ethics committee disciplinary hearing next week over a £1.3million payment he received from FIFA in 2011 - he says as part of an agreement made 13 years earlier for work he carried out from 1998 to 2002.

If found guilty of ethics code breaches he is certain to receive a lengthy ban, and if cleared would then stand for the FIFA presidency.

UEFA also announced the prize money for Euro 2016 with the 24 countries involved earning a minimum of 8million euros (£5.8million) and a maximum of 27million euros (£19.5million).

Euro 2016 organisers and UEFA said security will be their priority ahead of the tournament following the terrorist attacks in Paris last month. France is still in a state of emergency with a noticeable presence of police and military on the streets of its capital city.

The fact the Stade de France was targeted in the attacks has also focused attention on next summer's tournament.

Jacques Lambert, president of the Euro 2016 organising committee, said plans to have fan zones in the 10 host cities would be maintained and should even help security planning.

He told the news conference. "Since November 13, we have held a number of technical meetings to learn all we can about what happened at the Stade de France and around it. We have also been in contact with officials at the Ministry of the Interior, the Paris police force, security and intelligence services.

"The priority of the French government has been the climate conference. The co-ordination with the state services will intensify over coming days and weeks. We have the time to take a methodical approach.

"The host cities want to keep the idea of the fan zones. For them, these are a place where crowds can gather and can see the matches for free on big screens. It also helps to have this crowd gathered in one place rather than scattered around the towns."

Press Association

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport