Football. France: referees will soon get audio to explain their decisions

Will referees in France soon be equipped with microphones? Either way, it’s on track, with the experiment scheduled for Saturday during the Women’s French Cup final between PSG and Fleury, then at the end of May during the Men’s final between PSG and Lyon.

Specifically, the person with the whistle will be able to explain his decision-making to the public and spectators after the use of VAR. The field umpire will have a microphone that his video assistant will open remotely when he needs to explain his decision. This microphone will remain muted for the rest of the meeting.

“Everyone is always a little more accepting of what they understand, and being able to communicate around the decisions made with the help of video in the referee is an element that I think can be beneficial to the public, to the spectators in the stadiums, to the television viewers, because it goes about the process of transparency,” explained Antony Gautier, head of French referees.

Referees prepared since February

If the Professional Football League (LFP) is to implement this system in Ligue 1 from next season, it is still suspended from its technical feasibility in the stadiums so that the sound can be restored and the referee can explain his decisions to the public. “When everything is technically ready, those who work in professional competitions will also be ready. They have been trained in this since February,” explains Gautier, who sees the sound system as another lever to make the use of VAR, which has been criticized in recent months, more transparent.

“There are 4 cases that are affected by this experiment,” Gautier further details, “that exist in the video assist protocol: goals scored, direct exclusions, penalty situations and possible identity errors.”

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