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SBD Global/November 7, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

RFU CEO Ian Ritchie Says Football Referees Should Wear Open Mics

Rugby Football Union CEO Ian Ritchie "has suggested that football should introduce technology to help referees" and also proposed "the reintroduction of a 10-yard penalty for dissent in an attempt to improve the behaviour of players on the pitch," according to Owen Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. In the wake of the incident involving referee Mark Clattenburg, "the debate over the relationship between players and referees has been reignited." Ritchie said that "a combination of open-mic technology allowing fans and commentators to eavesdrop on referees and players and the 10-metre dissent rule would have an impact on player behaviour." He added: "Our head of referees keeps a recording of every game. That has to be right. You can hear what the players are saying, never mind what the referees are saying. That element of respect is very important, it's back to the core values of the game. The 10-yard situation in rugby, I always rather like that. The minute someone starts disagreeing with the referee on a rugby pitch, it's another 10 yards. I've always thought: "Why can't you apply that [to] football?" Ritchie also said that "goal-line technology, likely to be first used by the FA later this season and introduced by the Premier League at the beginning of next season, should also be embraced as quickly as possible." The FA recently "sought guidance from the RFU when it was compiling a code of conduct for players" (GUARDIAN, 11/6).
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