FIFA says no to extra referees for 2010 World Cup

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Cape Town (South Africa), Dec.3 (ANI): Football's governing body FIFA has rejected plans to use five referees in matches at next year's World Cup, but revealed that it will investigate French football star Thierry Henry's handball against Ireland.

Fifa discussed adding two goal-line officials to keep an eye on action in and around the important penalty box area.

There had been signs that the organisation would back the idea, but it decided to stick with the existing system for the tournament in South Africa next summer, reports Sky Sports.

It made its decision following an extraordinary meeting of its executive committee in Cape Town.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said: "We have decided that for World Cup 2010, there will be no change in refereeing. We will still have one referee and two assistants."

Blatter said the World Cup would come too soon to allow the inclusion of the five-referee system currently being trialled in the Europa League.

FIFA has also ruled out introducing video technology to help referees similar to the system used in sports like rugby, cricket and tennis, but it will open an inquiry into whether to bring in such technology or have extra officials in the future.

FIFA's decision comes after the furore sparked by Henry twice handling the ball in a World Cup play-off against Ireland last month that saw France qualify for the finals.

The infringement was clearly seen by players close to the striker when he crossed for William Gallas to score and it was evident from TV replays of the action.

FIFA's disciplinary committee will now look at Henry's behaviour in the November 18 game.

Blatter had previously said it was not Henry's responsibility to tell the referee he handled the ball.

But he has now described the Frenchman's handball as "blatant unfair playing" that was seen around the world.

Henry could face a range of sanctions, with a one-match ban perhaps the most likely. It means he may miss the start of the World Cup next June. (ANI)

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