Mark Halsey column: Premier League referees should copy Euro 2020 officials in terms of how they interact with players

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The referees at Euro 2020 have been brilliant. They’ve let games flow and breathe, and they’ve played the advantage where they can, but they’ve also stamped their authority on the game if they’ve needed to.

I think they’ve been very well drilled with their discipline, and that’s down to great leadership and direction from their chief.

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What comes with the knockout stages, however, is a lot more tempo and intensity to the games.

It goes without saying that, therefore, there are likely to be more physical challenges, even some late or reckless challenges.

On that basis, the refereeing standard has to be better than it has already, which is a tough ask because it’s been absolutely excellent.

Mark Halsey
Former Premier League and FIFA referee Mark Halsey is a columnist for CaughtOffside.com

Refs have been smiling with the players, having a laugh with them, but they’ve had no problem when they’ve had the opportunity to exercise their authority.

We’ve seen in the Premier League, the way that refs are far too quick to issue yellow cards for careless and reckless challenges.

When I was a referee, I always gave the players a chance unless it was a nailed on reckless challenge.

What it’s about is these referees setting their tolerance levels. We can see how they’re not being overly aggressive or officious, they’re engaging with the players at all times, and players respect that.

It’s definitely what we need to see happening from next season in the Premier League.

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