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FA demands technology after ghost goal row


LONDON (Reuters) -- Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Hughes was fuming on Saturday after the FA repeated its call for goal-line technology when his side became the latest to suffer from a clear case of human error.

The west London team were denied a goal in the 20th minute of their relegation showdown at Bolton Wanderers when Clint Hill's close-range header was well over the line before being clawed out by home keeper Adam Bogdan.

Referee Martin Atkinson and assistant Bob Pollock failed to award a goal to QPR whose sense of grievance would have been heightened by a look at the TV replays which showed the ball had travelled half a metre over the line.

To make matters worse QPR lost 2-1 - a result that plunged them into the drop zone.

The FA issued a statement before the game had even finished calling for soccer's governing body FIFA to bring in technology to prevent so-called "ghost goals".

"Laughably the FA have come out almost immediately and said they're in favour (of technology]," Hughes told the BBC.

"That's absolutely ludicrous, trying to protect the poor performances of the officials they supply us. It's a joke.

"The officials should do their jobs, looking down their line. The linesman's job is to check for that. No excuse because it wasn't a close decision," Hughes added.

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FIFA president Sepp Blatter has always been against technology but recently relaxed his stance and it could now be used for the first time at the Club World Cup finals in Japan at the end of the year.

The FA has long campaigned for help for officials - a subject that gained momentum after England's Frank Lampard had a goal denied against Germany in the 2010 World Cup finals after his shot hit the bar and bounced over the line.

"Following last week's meeting of IFAB (International Football Association Board) the FA would like to reiterate our strong desire to see goal-line technology introduced as soon as possible," Saturday's FA statement said.

"The FA has been a leading proponent of goal-line technology for many years. We will continue to press for its introduction once further independent testing is complete later this year so that anyone wishing to introduce the technology is able to do so at the earliest possible opportunity."

Bolton manager Owen Coyle sympathised with Hughes despite his side benefiting from a clear error.

"Nobody is a bigger advocate of goal-line technology than myself. We had one this year against Chelsea when Kevin Davies scored a goal that wasn't given," Coyle told Sky Sports.

"We saw what happened with England in the World Cup. I can totally understand how Mark will be feeling."

There have been several high-profile cases of "ghost goals".

One of the most memorable was Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Pedro Mendez's lob against Manchester United in 2005 that was dropped at least a metre over the line by keeper Roy Carroll and the goal was not given.