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Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010

Pele advocates use of five officials

MEXICO CITY (AP) Pele says FIFA should field a match official behind each goal to assist the referee at the World Cup and avoid scandals like Diego Maradona's infamous handball at the 1986 tournament.

Pele said Monday that he is in favor of five match officials being used in each game at the World Cup in South Africa this June, but he opposes video replays. Stopping play would slow the game and could impede a possible counterattack, he said.

UEFA introduced the experiment of using five match officials in the Europa League this season.

Pele spoke Monday in Mexico City where he is promoting the Copa Libertadores, South America's top club competition.

"It was decided not to use modern technologies, but we do propose using two referees behind the goals, and FIFA is considering this," said Pele, who has been working with a FIFA committee that oversees officiating.

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