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Football: German Cup final error reopens technology debate

Bundesliga clubs are set to vote again on whether to introduce goal-line technology into German football after Borussia Dortmund were controversially disallowed a goal in last weekend's cup final defeat.

BERLIN: Bundesliga clubs are set to vote again on whether to introduce goal-line technology into German football after Borussia Dortmund were controversially disallowed a goal in last weekend's cup final defeat.

Bayern Munich claimed the league and cup double at Berlin's Olympic Stadium on Saturday after Arjen Robben and Thomas Mueller scored extra-time goals.

But referee Florian Meyer failed to award Dortmund a 65th-minute goal, although replays showed a header by Borussia defender Mats Hummels had crossed the line.

Bayern's defender Dante was behind the goal-line when he cleared the ball, but despite furious protests from the Borussia players, the goal was not awarded.

Just two months ago, Germany's 36 professional clubs voted by a clear majority against providing goal-line technology for referees with high costs being cited as the main reason.

Technology in German football has been a hot topic especially since Bayer Leverkusen's Stefan Kiessling was awarded a goal last October against Hoffenheim, but replays showed the ball entered the goal through a hole in the side netting.

With Hummel's non-goal being labelled "Torklau" ('goal theft') in the German media, the German Football League (DFL) have said they can put the vote to the clubs again.

"If it is the wish of the clubs, a new vote on the introduction of goal-line technology would not be an issue," said Andreas Rettig, the DFL's managing director.

"The DFL is already well prepared in regards to this issue."

Even Bayern, who benefited from Hummel's non-goal in Berlin, is in favour of a fresh vote as both the Bavarian giants and Dortmund voted in favour of introducing goal-line technology earlier this year.

"I was disappointed that the league didn't commit itself to goal-line technology and we let the referees remain in the dark about what was happening on the pitch," Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Bavarian television.

"The Bundesliga must precede and there must be a vote on goal-line technology.

"We're talking, of course, about money, but it would be a sensible investment. Then we wouldn't be having discussions like the ones we saw after Berlin."

Wolfgang Niersbach, president of the German Football Association (DFB), has said they are in favour of introducing technology, but the clubs would need to vote for it.

The boss of Germany's referees, Herbert Fandel, the head of the DFB's referees commission, said his officials would welcome the help.

"It if unfortunate that we have no goal-line technology in our highly-professional football," said Fandel.

"Goal-line technology would eliminate such fruitless discussions like we had on Saturday."

Likewise, World Cup referee Felix Brych said German officials would welcome the technology.

"We would all be happy if we could get some help in this area. I can speak for all referees in this regards," he said.

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