Pierluigi Collina believes additional assistant referees (AARs) will still have a place in UEFA competitions if goal-line technology is introduced.
The former World Cup final official, who is now the European governing body’s chief refereeing officer, backed the use of AARs when quizzed about the potential arrival of cameras to assist referees at this year’s European Championships, ahead of the UEFA Executive Committee’s vote on the matter later this week.
While the effectiveness of the two extra officials behind each goal in recent seasons has been questioned by many, Collina feels they are making a difference.
“The penalty area is the most crucial zone of the field. Actions there have a decisive influence on matches. The density of players, especially in situations like free-kicks and corner-kicks, makes it impossible for a single pair of eyes to take control of all that happens on the numerous set-piece plays every match,” he said in an interview on the UEFA website.
“The aim of implementing the AARs has simply been to give the referees support in controlling the most important incidents on the field of play. Many people in the media and general public may not appreciate all that AARs do during the game, because these officials do not have a flag or a whistle, but it is a fact that they have been crucial in helping make the right decisions at the right time during our matches.”
Meanwhile, Collina added his voice to those calling for goal-line technology to be used at Euro 2016.
“Regarding the specific timing, we are comfortable for the Executive Committee to make the decision now because our review of the process has just concluded, and we also feel that with UEFA Euro 2016 around the corner it is a good opportunity for UEFA to introduce GLT at a big tournament,” he said.