An experiment employing additional assistant referees is likely to be tried out by world football’s governing body FIFA in 2003.

The assistants would be positioned behind the goalline and a pilot scheme is set to be introduced following a proposal put forward BY Michel Platini.

“FIFA is looking into testing this concept at official FIFA competitions scheduled for 2003,” the world body confirmed this week.

The use of the assistants is expected to be of benefit to referees, helping them take decisions in the penalty box.

“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 at last week’s meeting involving UEFA national team coaches.

“They would also be someone who would be on the other side of the ball from the referee to lookat penalty-box incidents.”