FIFA have long insisted that they wish to keep the Beautiful Game "pure" (with their definition of "pure" meaning the exclusion of video technology, rather then the exclusion of excessive transfer fees, widespread corruption, excessive commercialism and general capitulation to the demands of TV networks). However, in a rare break from the nonsense he usually spouts, FIFA President Sepp Blatter's stance on replays has taken a dramatic turn for the sensible. Yahoo! Sports reports:
"It is obvious that after the experience so far in this World Cup it would be nonsense to not reopen the file of technology at the business meeting of the International FA Board in July."
"Personally, I deplore it when you see evident referee mistakes, but it's not the end of a competition or the end of football. This can happen."
The U-turn comes after two high profile officiating mistakes in the round of 16, namely Frank Lampard's "goal" and Carlos Tevez's miles-offside opener against Mexico. The Swiss showed further humility by offering both affected nations an apology:
"The only thing I can do is ... [speak] to the two federations [England and Mexico] directly concerned by referee's mistakes. I have expressed to them apologies and I understand they are not happy and that people are criticizing."
Blatter's change of heart is the first step in the road toward bringing football in line with other technologically-assisted sports such as tennis and American football, but there's no guarantee that any changes actually will take place at FIFA's next meeting. It's quite feasible that a large proportion of FIFA's members still maintain the antiquated anti-technology stance, and - like the rest of the world - they may not hold much faith in anything Blatter suggests anyway: at his most recent re-election, he secured only 66 of a possible 207 votes. Possibly because he said this.