A press conference was held at the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo following a meeting of the Organising Committee for the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2012. FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke and Japanese Football Association (JFA) President Kuniya Daini addressed preparations for the tournament, ticket sales and, most importantly, the debut of goal-line technology in football.
Jérôme Valcke, FIFA Secretary General
On the FIFA Club World Cup
We are very happy to be here in Tokyo again. We are expecting a great tournament before we bring it to Morocco for the next two years. It is always a pleasure to be here in Japan.
On Al-Ahly’s black armbands
Al Ahly were given approval at our meeting of the Organising Committee today to wear black armbands in memory of those fans who died in the Port Said tragedy. It was a unanimous decision by the board.
On tomorrow’s official debut of goal-line technology
It’s a big day. Tomorrow will be the first time that goal-line technology will be officially used in a game. The tests are done; and the installation tests were successful. This is also an important day for us, because we will use one of the two systems we are using here (Hawk-Eye and GoalRef) in the FIFA Confederations Cup next year.
On the origins of goal-line technology
We all saw the game between England and Germany during the World Cup in 2010 [When a shot clearly crossed the line, but wasn’t given as a goal]. With that, we restarted the discussion about a system we could use to support the referee. The IFAB (International Football Association Board) met, nine companies applied and two went through the first part of the test and, yesterday, succeeded in the final tests.
On the high cost of current systems
There will be additional companies coming on the market in the future. The cost will go down. It’s expensive at the moment, but it won’t be forever. Think of the cost of a plasma screen TV some years ago, and look how the price of those has come down.
On the system’s accuracy
It needs to be the most accurate system we can have at the moment. There can be no mistakes with this and that is why the IFAB took two years to make sure the system was perfect.
On the need for goal-line technology
This is a kind of revolution. It is the first time that this kind of technology is coming into football. It will be restricted to the goal-line specifically. The IFAB is there to ensure the 17 laws of the game are protected. It was their decision, and they were clear, to say that the technology is limited to the goal-line. We must ensure that when the ball goes into the goal, the referee must get the information that the ball has gone in. The referee has the final decision. The technology won’t change the speed, value or spirit of the game. There is no reason to be against this technology.
The referee’s role in the process
The referees had a full training with the system yesterday. We will make sure that they know how to use the technology. 90 minutes before each game, the referee will test the system. Based on his test, he will decide whether or not it will be used. This is the way it will be forever. The referee makes the final decision. If he has a doubt, for any reason, he has the right to not use it. The referee is the most important person in this process.
Kuniya Daini, President of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the Japan Football Association (JFA)
On preparations and tickets for the FIFA Club World Cup
It is our pleasure to be hosting the FIFA Club World Cup again, for the second consecutive year. Tickets for the final are almost sold out, but they are available still for all of the other matches.
On the tsunami-damaged areas of Japan
One year has passed since the tsunami that devastated parts of our country. With the help of FIFA and the world football family, the JFA has been able to extend aid to the affected areas. We still have a way to go and those hard-hit areas still need our support. We will use a slogan for the FIFA Club World Cup to show our support: “Our hearts are with you.”