Even if it’s only a temporary measure to test out its viability, the officials in Ligue Un are apparently taking the plunge and agreeing to wear microphones during matches.
The news was first reported in L’Equipe and cited by Get French Football News, who suggest that 60 percent of the officials polled were in agreement.
Of course, rugby has had mics on their referees for many years, with supporters in the stand tuned in to a particular bandwidth in order that they can hear every word that the referee on the pitch is saying.
It’s certainly not a gimmick, and if players know that they can be heard by all and sundry, it may stop the constant surrounding and haranguing of the official.
Any change to the normal working parameters of the officials does also require IFAB (referees governing body) approval, although this shouldn’t be an issue given the positive way in which the suggestion has been received.
The new rules have been pushed forward by president, Vincent Labrune, and whilst it is only an experiment at this stage, it’s relative success (or failure) could have a marked effect on the way that football is consumed in the country.
It will be interesting to see what behaviours change as a result.