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Why UK football referees don’t wear mics as fans make suggestion after Women’s World Cup Final

Why UK football referees don’t wear mics as fans make suggestion after Women’s World Cup Final

Referees in the UK don't yet have to announce their decisions to the stadium

Football fans are wondering why referees in the UK don't use microphones to announce major decisions to the stadium after watching it work in the Women's World Cup.

Yesterday (20 August) saw Spain beat England 1-0 in the Women's World Cup final, but without some penalty saving heroics from Mary Earps it could easily have been more.

England conceded a penalty in the second half which the goalie saved and while there might have been some frustration at the decisions made by the referee, something people really appreciated was hearing the ref's verdict in real time.

The final was refereed by US official Tori Penso, who awarded the penalty after checking the VAR (video assistant referee) monitor and informed the fans watching the final that it had been given because of a 'punishable handball by No.4'.

There was a lot of positive reaction to having the referee announce the big decisions and plenty thought this was something that referees in the UK could make good use of.

Referees have microphones, so why can't they use them to announce big decisions?
Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

We've heard what a mic'd up referee sounds like before after audio of Michael Oliver officiating the 2018 FA Cup final gave many fans a newfound respect for how difficult a job it is to do.

However, since the introduction of VAR to the Premier League, there's been plenty of complaints over the way it's been used and the decisions that have been given.

A lot of the time fans are left wondering why the referee came down on one side in a particularly contentious call or what they've given a decision for and the Women's World Cup has shown a good solution to fan discontent.

Penso's microphone allowed her to make an announcement at the Women's World Cup final to tell fans exactly why she was giving the penalty to Spain and they really appreciated the clear explanation.

Referees in the UK at the top level of football do wear microphones so many fans are wondering why they couldn't use them to announce big decisions like VAR calls.

Plenty liked that they knew exactly why Spain got a penalty in the Women's World Cup final.
Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Speaking to TalkSPORT, former Premier League referee turned director of the PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Board) Howard Webb has said he is hoping this can be changed.

He said he wanted referees to be 'as transparent as we can', but stressed that football had to work within the parameters set by FIFA.

Webb also said that the audio between the referee and VAR officials can't be played during the game because FIFA won't allow it, but said we 'had the opportunity' to let mic'd up referees tell fans in the stadium what the verdict was.

In other sports like rugby and cricket the referees can announce decisions to the stadium and Webb said we 'might' see this in club football as he wants to 'draw the curtain back' and 'push' the parameters laid down by FIFA.

If it works at the World Cup, there's no reason it can't work in the Premier League.

Featured Image Credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Topics: Football, Sport, World Cup