OPINION: Football should air its faults

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News has come out in Australia this week that match officials will be wearing microphones for A-League matches.

Viewers will be able to hear referees and the words spoken around them in the final five games of their season, which could make interesting listening.

This is a refreshing move from the Aussies, though I don’t think the whole thing will take off in our part of the world.

A number of things will have to change if comes in over here or maybe live games will be scheduled after the watershed.

Former FA chief Mark Palios had called for referee remarks to be broadcast back in 2012, but there was no shock when this didn’t happen.

It would give a great insight into the workings of a referee’s mind and may give supporters a little more empathy with their plight.

The main issue is the lack of respect that referees are given in this country.

It seems to be par for the course when you see players like Wayne Rooney et al calling Premier League officials every name under the sun.

And we’ve all seen and read about how this is dropping down through every level of football, right the way through to Minor League matches.

If I was refereeing a match and a 10-year-old swore at me, I wouldn’t know what to say.

Unfortunately, if it is goodenough for your Rooneys then it is good for little Tommy on a Sunday afternoon.

The hard-line approach needs to be taken with this.

People talk about respect campaigns, but at the top level is there any?

Referees in both codes of rugby commonly wear microphones to air their views and the take of the players around them.

But you hardly ever hear a cross word let alone a swear word, it just doesn’t happen.

On the odd occasion that this does happen then the game’s officials close ranks and hand out a hefty punishment.

In May of last year rugby union man Dylan Hartley rather unpleasantly called referee Wayne Barnes a cheat in the Premiership final.

He was smashed by an 11-match ban, ruling him out of the British Lions’ tour of Australia.

This ban was enforced and also accepted by the player.

If a similar occurence was to happen in the FA Cup final then the whole world of football would erupt.

The lawyers would come out, and after 19 months of court battles, the players would probably end up opening a supermarket as part of their punishment.

We all know that this won’t change.

The FA talk about respect, but they also fear today’s players and the ridiculous amounts of money in the game.

Personally, I’d love to listen to a little transparency about the big decisions in a match and I’m sure many other fans would as well.

I’m sure that the berating that would follow from the top-class footballer next to them wouldn’t make it to air though.