London, Dec.1 (ANI): In what could be a first in the game of football, FIFA is "99 percent certain" to sanction the use of five referees at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, reports Sky Sports.
The landmark decision - the biggest change in refereeing for a century - will be made at an emergency meeting of football's powerbrokers in Cape Town tomorrow.
Sky sources have also revealed that FIFA will reject Ireland's request to play at the tournament and that a row over which teams are seeded for the competition has erupted involving France.
The refereeing revolution - and Ireland's protest - were prompted by Thierry Henry's handball last month that ended Irish World Cup dreams.
While the introduction of technology remains off the agenda, FIFA is ready to adopt a Europa League experiment with two extra officials monitoring the goalmouths at next summer's showpiece.
The effects would be felt far beyond the World Cup, since the whole of the professional game including the Barclays Premier League would have to adopt the practice if it finds favour with the International Football Association Board (IFAB) next March in Zurich.
The extra refs would stand behind the goal-line beyond the keeper's right-hand post and are not empowered to enter the field of play.
If the 24 men of FIFA's executive committee favour the five refs idea, and want to use it at South Africa 2010, then it would have to be ratified by the body which has the final say on the rules of the game.
The IFAB is made up of FIFA, which has four votes, alongside the English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish football associations, who have one vote each as traditional guardians of the game.
A minimum six votes are required for a law change, and it is highly likely FIFA would get its way. (ANI)