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FIFA to trial micro-chipped football

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FIFA is to consider the introduction of micro-chipped footballs after a high-profile incident during a Premiership game between Manchester United and Tottenham.

During that match United keeper Roy Carroll fumbled a long-range shot from Spurs' midfielder Miguel Pedro Mendes. Although TV footage showed that the ball had crossed the line, the goal was not given as the referee waved play on.

FIFA now wants to introduce new technology that will stop officials from making painful mistakes. German sport goods company Adidas has already developed a micro-chipped ball and is to make a presentation to the International Football Association Board in Cardiff on Feb 26. If accepted, the ball could already be used in the Carling Cup final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium the following day.

Test results so far have been positive. The chip, developed by Oliver Braun of Cairos Technologies in Germany and undergoing final testing at the Fraunhofer Institute, transmits the exact position of the ball up to 2,000 times per second, DPA reports. It can even detect when the ball crosses the line in the air.

German referees are in favour of having computer chips in balls, but remain against the idea of using video evidence - such as cyclops, used at Wimbledon - during matches. Football, they argue, is a flowing game that should not be halted all the time. ®

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