A-League Refs To Wear Microphones For Final Series, Allowing Viewers More Transparency
Referees in Australia's A-League "will wear microphones for the end-of-season Finals Series," according to the BBC. TV viewers "will be able to hear referees in five matches," starting on Friday as Melbourne Victory hosts Sydney FC, and in the Grand Final. Referees in both rugby codes "commonly wear microphones," but the practice "has yet to be widely adopted in football." The move "will draw interest from broadcasters and leagues around the world as fans seek greater transparency on crucial decisions'' (BBC, 4/15). In Sydney, Tom Smithies reported viewers "will be able to hear what the referee says to players and his assistants, and the responses of any players in close proximity, through the microphone attached to his earpiece." The delay "is to avoid live swearing," with Fox Sports producers "aware its primary function is to allow for immediate explanation of contentious rulings" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 4/15).