REFEREE RESPECT: Should officials be shown more respect or be more accountable?
An initiative designed to increase referee respect has been suggested as the abuse of officials increases.
The proposed idea was to clap referees onto the pitch at the beginning of matches.
It was brought forward by Ref Support UK - a 'registered charity dedicated to independent training, support and development of referees'.
Clearly, there is an issue with the amount of respect given to officials, more so the lower down the football pyramid.
However, is this the right way to improve the treatment referees get?
Referee respect will improve alongside accountability
Supporters suggested that respect and empathy towards referees will improve if they are held to account.
Referees are not required to discuss decisions in public or explain their reasoning.
In Scotland, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard was sent off after asking the referee to talk to him about failing to give a penalty.
Supporters feel that if referees were more accountable and discussed their decisions with stakeholders, they'd be respected more.
Let fans in the loop with the technology
VAR has baffled supporters across the country since it was introduced and it has seen a rise in frustration with referees.
In Australia, viewers can hear the conversation between referee and video assistant, leading to an understanding of why decisions were made.
For many, they feel this is necessary in British football too.
Should spectators be able to hear the communication, they wouldn't be in the dark and they'd understand the methods being used to decide on situations.
The technology is already there, so it can easily be broadcast.
Finally, it was mentioned that referees should have post-match media commitments to explain their decisions.
This could be another way of reducing the abuse if referees open themselves up and discuss what happened.
With the astonishing level of money referees at the top level receive, spectators think it's a fair ask.
Ultimately, fans we spoke to wholeheartedly rejected the notion of clapping officials onto the pitch, and think they should be focused on improving and being accountable if they want more respect.
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