SOCCER-UEFA-PLATINI:Platini snipes at autocratic FIFA president Blatter
By Mike Collett
MONACO (Reuters) - UEFA president Michel Platini criticised FIFA president Sepp Blatter's autocratic style on Friday saying that important decisions regarding soccer's future had not been discussed by FIFA's executive committee.
The 57-year-old Frenchman is against the use of goalline technology which was approved by FIFA in July, following a change of heart by Blatter two years ago.
"When you talk about technology, FIFA didn't decide on goalline technology, President Blatter did," Platini told reporters at an informal gathering in Monte Carlo.
"No one in the executive committee was consulted, nor was anyone in any other FIFA committees invited to give their views. It was just the FIFA president along with IFAB (the body that determines the laws of the game). He's in charge and it's up to him."
Blatter made no secret of his dislike of technology until an incident in a 2010 World Cup match between England and Germany when a Frank Lampard shot clearly crossed the goalline but was unsighted by officials.
Earlier that year Blatter had said the matter was off the agenda, but then began to embrace technology, saying if it could prove to be 100 percent reliable he would fully support it.
Platini said the decision by the law-making International Football Association Board (IFAB) this July to sanction goalline technology was purely down to Blatter.
IFAB comprises the four British associations, who have four votes and FIFA, who also have four votes and proposals need a majority of six to become law.
Platini, a member of FIFA's Executive Committee, said the issue was never discussed by him or other members of the committee.
Platini is against goalline technology and instead prefers the additional assistant referees (AAR) system which UEFA has adopted.
AAR involves having two additional assistant referees behind the goalline to assist the man in the middle.
"I respect the tradition and the fact that the four British associations for 125 years have always taken a traditional decision and I respect that.
"I think the four votes for the British are okay, it's the four votes for FIFA I don't understand.
"The president has the four votes and he decides what he wants, he never speaks about the IFAB in the executive committee (ExCo). The four votes of Blatter are not correct.
"Many people are against the four votes of the British, they say Wales and Northern Ireland are not very important, but I don't agree with them.
"If the ExCo or the Congress decided on the technology I will accept that more because it's a democratic decision. He never discussed it with the executive committee. Blatter has four votes and he decides."
No one from FIFA was available to make a statement on Platini's comments.
In reiterating his objection to goalline technology he added: "I am 57 years old, I am not going to change my mind now, you will never convince me. We haven't even seen any results of tests, we don't know how it works, and besides, it won't be possible in every match, it would be too expensive. It's absolutely impossible."
Platini's opinion is not shared by everyone, with the English Premier League keen to introduce goalline technology as soon as is practical.
"Fine, let England do it as a trial and see if it works," said Platini.
"It's good that we have two systems. I don't have a problem with that. But in UEFA competitions we will never have technology."
He also said that referees who come from countries who adopt the five-man officiating system in their domestic leagues would be given priority at European competitions in the future.
Platini said that UEFA had successfully employed AARs in over 1,000 matches, adding: "The additional assistant referee is the solution we want at UEFA.
"We are trying to show the national associations that it's a good idea. Some associations will take longer than others and some can't afford it.
"But if they want to have referees in big European competitions we will give priority to those coming from associations who are implementing the system so that there is understanding among the team of five referees." (Reporting by Mike Collett; editing by Toby Davis)