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Goal-line technology coming to a ground near you

Goal-line technology will be introduced in the Premier League next season.

The technology was successfully trialled by Fifa at the 2012 Club World Cup and the Premier League says it is in advanced talks with two potential providers.

“We’re working on the basis of having goal-line technology in place for the start of the season,” said Premier League spokesman Dan Johnson.

“All clubs will have to have the system, including those promoted.”

Hawk-Eye and GoalRef were both used at last year’s Club World Cup, but the Premier League has not identified which company it is in talks with.

Johnson added that Premier League clubs would not be able to opt out of using goal-line technology but insisted the system would not be too expensive for the 20 teams.

A meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the game’s law-making body, in Edinburgh on Saturday will be told the first use of the technology was a resounding success.

One interesting detail buried deep in the 34-page report is the suggestion that goal-line referrals will be shown on big screens within grounds, thus enabling spectators to watch an instant replay of any given incident. Such a system would mean that the referee will no longer be the sole arbiter when it comes to deciding whether or not a goal should be allowed. That honour will ultimately rest with the TV broadcaster – which is what they’ve wanted from the off.

Streets ahead

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho is to have a street named after him in Setubal, his Portuguese city of birth, the region’s town hall has confirmed.

According to a resolution passed unanimously, the name of the Portuguese manager, who received the keys to the city in 2009, “must also be eternalised on the local geography”.

“Jose Mourinho is today, in a fully deserved way, one of the most prestigious and most qualified coaches in the entire world,” the statement added.

A local source told the Lusa news agency that Mourinho’s name would be affiliated with one of Setubal’s main streets.

Meanwhile, in Madrid, a gutter is expected to be named in honour of Mourinho, to reflect the place he has dragged the club’s name during his reign.

One more year

Ryan Giggs has signed a 12-month extension to his contract at Manchester United on Friday, taking his Old Trafford career into a 24th year and ensuring the midfielder will continue playing into his 40s.

”I am feeling good, enjoying my football more than ever and, most importantly, I feel I am making a contribution to the team,” Giggs said.

Giggs will make his 1,000th senior appearance if he plays for United against Norwich in the Premier League on Saturday.

”What can I say about Ryan that hasn’t already been said?” United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said. ”He is a marvellous player and an exceptional human being.

”Ryan is an example to us all, the way in which he has, and continues to, look after himself … Ryan seems to reach a new milestone every week and to think that he now has 23 unbroken years of league goals behind him is truly amazing in the modern-day game.”

Giggs has played 931 matches for United, 64 times for Wales and made four appearances for Britain at the London Olympics last year.

Giggs is already the most decorated player in British football history and looks set to win his 13th league title this season. He has also won four FA Cups, three League Cups, two Champions Leagues, one UEFA Super Cup, an Intercontinental Cup, a FIFA Club World Cup and a Super-injunction preventing tabloid newspapers revealing details of his extra-marital activities, including his eight-year affair with his brother’s wife.

What other accolades do eventually come his way, it’s a safe bet that ‘Dad of the Year’ will not be among them.

One big happy family

Chelsea’s interim manager Rafa Benitez can expect a hostile reception from the club’s fans this weekend in the wake of his outburst on Wednesday night, but despite criticising the Stamford Bridge hierarchy, the Spaniard insists he enjoys an excellent relationship with owner Roman Abramovich.

Benitez confirmed on Wednesday he would leave the club in May during a post-match news conference in which he criticised Chelsea fans who have spent much of his brief tenure hanging effigies of the Spaniard  – metaphorically speaking, of course. That may change on Saturday, though.

“My relationship with Roman is very good,” Benitez told the BBC.

“They know how we work and what we are trying to do.”

“The players are really happy in what we are trying to do. Sometimes you win, sometimes you cannot.

“The atmosphere in the club is really good. There are no issues in the team. In terms of what we do, the players are fully behind the methods.

“If we stick together and support the players, we will be able to win games. Then at the end of the season I will leave and then they can criticise.”

“I didn’t have any problem with the board. I didn’t have any problem with Michael Emenalo [the technical director]. I didn’t have any problems with Roman Abramovich. I don’t have a problem with the players. What I want to do is the best for the team, the best for the club.

“I have been for 26 years training and coaching and always I have had principles, respect and education. It’s the way that I have achieved what I’ve achieved. We have 11 games to play. If we stick together, it will be easier and we can get more points. I would like to see a fantastic atmosphere supporting the team, and I will be really pleased with that.”

Over to you Chelsea fans.

Goal of the day

Wonderful curling effort from Botafogo’s Vitor against Atletico BA.

Quote of the day

“Everyone has an ego, but his is of a super type. Before I finish here, I will know the player. I have seen him play at many of the biggest clubs in the world, but I have never known him as a teammate. Now, yes.” 

David Beckham on the superego of his PSG team-mate Zlatan Ibrahinovic.

Corinthian spirit

Brazil will play Bolivia in an international friendly in memory of the 14-year-old San José fan who died during a recent Copa Libertadores game against Corinthians.

The Bolivian Football Federation (FBF) announced that CBF president José Maria Marin had been in contact to arrange the friendly, which will take place in Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

Kevin Douglas Beltran Espada died last week after being hit in the eye by a flare, which a 17-year-old Corinthians fan has confessed to firing.

Carlos Chávez, president of the FBF, said: “I received some good news and have confirmed the friendly.

“The commitment from the CBF is for the squad to play a game in the country. This is a good indicator for Bolivian football.”

Chávez also revealed that the fixture will not cost the FBF anything, despite Brazil usually charging a hefty fee for this type of fixture.

Save of the day

Like father like son. Kasper Schmeichel may not have enjoyed the success of his father, Peter, but he has certainly inherited some of his goalkeeping ability. Here the Leicester City keeper shows remarkable agility to divert he ball over the bar.

Paying the price

CFR Cluj defender Cadu has been banned for nine matches for violent conduct after kicking a defender in the mouth during a league game on Monday.

Vaslui defender Zhivko Milanov lost five teeth after being kicked by Cadu, Cluj’s captain in what was either a badly mistimed challenge or a brutal assault, depending upon your viewpoint.

“It’s a blow for CFR,” Cluj president Iuliu Muresan said after the ruling by the Romanian professional league (LPF). “This decision is not normal, it’s an unfortunate accident. It’s clear that we’ll appeal against the punishment.”

Cadu, who was also fined 18,000 lei (£3,600), apologised to Milanov and said he had not meant to hurt him.

“I just wanted to hit the ball and he had his head too low,” the Portuguese, who was sent off after the incident, said. “I didn’t see him and I didn’t mean to hit him. I just couldn’t stop. Once I hit him I realised what happened. Sorry!”

Here’s the incident in question.

Finally…

Former Vitesse defender and coach Theo Bos has died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 47.

Nicknamed ‘Mister Vitesse’ after spending his entire playing career – from 1983–98 – at the club, Bos was honoured when the south stand of their Gelredome stadium was named in his honour. In total he played 369 league games for Vitesse, in which he scored nine goals.

After retiring, he trained Vitesse’s youth teams and returned as head coach in 2008 following a spell in charge of FC Den Bosch.

“We are full of shock and disbelief, even though we knew it was coming,” said Vitesse technical director Ted van Leeuwen.

“Theo had a calm temperament, he was loyal and, above all, he was always true to himself as both player and coach. He was the boss, but he never made himself the centre of attention.”

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