Referees deserve more support

Referees like Martin Atkinson deserve some respect for the tough job they do (©GettyImages)

Technology has solved the problems surrounding contentious goal line clearances and the gargantuan controversies along the lines of Luis Garcia’s ghost goal of 2005 and England’s goal in the 1966 World Cup final are unlikely to happen again.

However, the poor referees remain in the swirling vortex of controversy as they are lampooned for their decisions on a match-by-match basis.

This season’s Premier League has been, as is the norm is, notable for managers embellishing their post-match comments with some eloquent comments on the referees, which are sometimes subtle, sometimes not so much.

The situation remains the biggest of ironies, as managers conveniently ignore their tactical errors and players ignore their blunders on the field. Although the flip side remains that managers and players have to face the music from the media while the referees do not.

A small technological addition which may mitigate the absolute pasting that referees receive for errors in games is the use of small pocket cameras on the referees’ collars or pockets to ensure that the public see the ‘retinal view’ of the man in the middle. A partnership with the burgeoning field of GoPro cameras may be the way to go about.

Firstly the head mounted camera would bring some much needed perspective on so called refereeing howlers and secondly it would give the referees confidence to back their vision without the fear of being metaphorically lynched by the media and public alike.

Referees and goalkeepers have the most heartless jobs in the game as one mistake can lead to a significant imprint on a match. But while goalkeepers have plenty of voice in the media, the referees are encumbered by their regulations with prohibit interaction after games.

Therefore such a change would give be the support that referees need to go ahead with fearless decision-making that is often required in the beautiful game.

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