LONDON (AP) — Video evidence should be used to punish soccer player who dive, fake injuries or waste time, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said Friday.
Seeking to eradicate cheating from the game, Blatter questioned why disciplinary bodies are not using existing rules to take retroactive action.
“Video evidence can contribute greatly to fair play, provided the sport’s disciplinary bodies are prepared to use it – and they should,” Blatter wrote in his column in FIFA’s weekly magazine.
Article 96 of FIFA’s disciplinary code states that audio or video recordings are permissible in disciplinary cases.
“Video evidence can be used for serious breaches of the principle of fair play such as brawling, spitting at opponents, verbal insults and racist slurs, or for incorrectly awarded red or yellow cards,” Blatter said. “In cases such as these we must make use of the avenues already open to us and intervene after the event if necessary.
“In this context, we should include the faking of injury, intentional diving or time wasting in our considerations.”
Thierry Henry escaped action for his handball before the goal that helped France qualify for the 2010 World Cup instead of Ireland. FIFA said it had no right to consider the case under its rules.
But Blatter believes that “if the referee does not see unsporting conduct … during the course of a match, we can come back to it later.”
“I am not talking about a new technological aid to be used during matches, but about consistently applying a tool,” he added.
FIFA’s media department said Blatter’s proposals weren’t enforceable without going through committees and were unlikely to be applied at this year’s World Cup in Brazil.
Although technology is allowed to instantly rule on disputed goals, Blatter does not advocate stopping matches to give referees time to review video replays on other disputed matters.
“If we were to permit this it would lead to a flood of appeals that would essentially destroy the game,” Blatter said. “The referee’s verdict must always take precedence. Once the match official hands down a decision, it must be the end of the matter.”
Rob Harris can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/RobHarris .