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France halts goal-line technology after mishaps

The French league (LFP) has decided to "immediately suspend" the use of goal-line technology after a series of glitches with the system, LFP director general Didier Quillot said on Thursday.

The decision covers all matches under the jurisdiction of the LFP, notably Ligue 1 and the French League Cup, and comes in the wake of two errors during Wednesday’s League Cup quarter-finals.

“Last night unfortunately the GLT experienced two serious malfunctions in the Amiens-PSG match — the GLT didn’t make the referee’s watch vibrate and it was the video assistant who awarded the goal — and a second incident in Angers-Montpellier where the GLT wrongly caused the referee’s watch to vibrate,” Quillot explained.

“These two irregularities are unacceptable, especially as they occur just after we put GoalControl on notice,” he said, adding that the system in its current state “was not reliable”.

The LFP last month had warned GoalControl, the company that provides the GLT system, that its contract with the French league could be terminated if further problems arose.

France is also trialling the video assistant referee (VAR) system in the League Cup — from the quarter-finals onwards — with a view to introducing it in Ligue 1 next season.

It has also encountered hitches while being tested by several countries, although FIFA is hoping to use the VAR at this year’s World Cup in Russia.

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