Hackett: Record officials’ conversations

The former general manager of Premier League referees, Keith Hackett, has called on the Football Association to bring forward a proposal that would see match officials’ conversations recorded.

 After allegations that referee Mark Clattenburg used “inappropriate language” to Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikellast week – allegations that Clattenburg denies – Hackett is eager to see the introduction of a system that would allow fans to listen to on-pitch conversations between players and officials.

The FA has already said that it is “too soon” to consider how it will address the issue with the International Football Association Board, the body that rules on law changes.

He told The Observer on Sunday: “The FA are members of IFAB, so could bring forward a proposal to permit the recording of the conversations between players and officials during a game.

“I would have no problem with fans have the ability to purchase a “Ref!Link” to listen in to what the match officials are saying.

“I would like to see a referee-coach at the ground able to listen in to the team of officials.

“And given what has happened in the last few days and, with no knee-jerk reaction, I would like to conversations between the match officials for the full duration of the game recorded.”

The Ref!Link system is already used in rugby union and allows spectators to overhear officials discussing their decisions with players during a match.

In 2006, Hackett introduced a system to football where officials wore microphones, so that a referees’ coach at Premier League matches could listen in.

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