They already have a microphone, but only a privileged few have the opportunity to hear what the Ligue 1 referees say during the match. Exchanges that the French Football Federation (FFF) wants to quickly open to as many people as possible. At a meeting on Thursday, the body’s executive committee decided to seek permission from Ifab, the body in charge of football rules, to be allowed to broadcast to spectators and spectators of elite matches the remarks made by France’s best whistles on the pitch.
“We are going to send a written request to invite the first major championship to experiment with live broadcast, from the first to the last second of each match, of these exchanges with players, as well as with assistant referees. , and Var, explains Parisian-Today in France President of the Federal Commission of Arbitrators and Comex member Eric Borghini. I myself have the opportunity to put on a headset and hear all these discussions when I go to the stadium, and I can assure you that it is very enriching. With this we will understand the game much better. »
The arrival of Anthony Gauthier and the departure of Noel Le Grae as a catalyst
But this federal desire is likely to run into the line of decision maker Ifab. Comprised of representatives from FIFA and the British federations, it accelerated on Wednesday in a case where it has been heavily delayed in recent years, sparking a “topic that has been dealt with internally” in 2021.
Meeting on Wednesday at Wembley Stadium in London, Ifab decided to try out a sound system for conversations between the center referee and his assistants in charge of video refereeing at international competitions. The experiment started in February at the Club World Cup in Morocco.
“In the event that Ifab refuses this first offer, we will also voluntarily turn on the sound during these field visits in Var,” adds Eric Borghini. This is something very interesting, which could allow us to promote our Championship in the context of the next announcement of tenders for the rights to broadcast Ligue 1. (expected in autumn). »
FFF, which has been open to the idea so far but has been rather passive in this file, is suddenly speeding up. The change in position is no doubt linked to the eviction in November of Pascal Garibian, head of the Technical Arbitration Department, who was replaced in January by another former arbitrator, Anthony Gauthier. The departure of FFF President Noel Le Graet, who was absent from the Comex on Thursday and not known internally as a big fan of the idea, also played a role.
Broadcasters and judges in favor of the measure
The will of the FFF will more than satisfy the broadcasters. In February, Amazon Prime rebroadcast in a delayed exchange OM-Angers referee Jeremy Stinat with the players of the bout.
Most of the interested people also stick to the project. In the summer of 2021, 60% of the referees interviewed during the face-to-face consultation of the Union of Elite Football Referees (Safe) spoke in favor of this. “The FFF is finally following the will of its judges,” welcomes union president Olivier Lamarr. It is important that the general public can understand our decisions, this will limit the controversy. »
The green light in principle from interested parties is also valid for another reform carried out by French refereeing officials: the option left after media training to allow referees to speak to the media to defend their contentious whistles.