The use of extra assistant referees behind the goalline is likely to be tested next year.
An experiment using additional assistant referees positioned behind the goalline is likely to be tried out by world football's governing body FIFA in 2003. The pilot scheme is set to be introduced following a proposal put forward by FIFA and UEFA Executive Committee member Michel Platini.
The planned test will be welcomed by many prominent European coaches. National-team coaches from UEFA's 52 member associations called for such an experiment during their discussions at last week's UEFA Conference for European National Coaches in Warsaw.
"FIFA is looking into testing this concept at official FIFA competitions scheduled for 2003," the world body said this week, in the wake of the proposal made by former French international Platini in March.
Europe's national coaches expressed the view last week that the use of extra assistants positioned behind the goalline could be of considerable benefit in helping referees take decisions in the high-pace modern-day game.
"This would mean that [the additional assistants] could look along the line of the goal, to help tell whether a ball is in or out," said UEFA technical director Andy Roxburgh in summarising the Warsaw discussions. "They would also be someone who would be on the other side of the ball from the referee to look at penalty-box incidents."
The use of extra goalline assistant referees is one of several possible experiments being discussed within football's technical sector, which is keen on finding ways to assist referees in an increasingly demanding task.