Hackett’s Verdict | Premier League letting the game down

Featured content, Hackett's Verdict

Having been closely involved in football for well over half a century I have seen the speed and intensity of the game change at all levels.The physical demands placed on our match officials are without doubt more challenging.

In addition the massive scrutiny by all forms of media make life for our referees so much more difficult.

During my career referee training was all about endurance, going for long distance runs.

When I could I would run around the perimeter of a local football field, doing the odd sprint down one touchline.

I was involved at the start of the change to professional referees and with the introduction of sports science the move from endurance training to high intensity.

The physical demands on referees intensified with the need not only to cover distances in excess of 11500m but a 100m had to be at speeds in excess of 7metres per second.

Incidentally I heard the comment recently by a soccer pundit on television that a particular referee should be dropped to the Championship where it is less physically demanding.

Well I need to respond to that comment by stating clearly that often the distances covered by referees in the Championship are greater than the Premier League and the move to a second tier of professional referees for the Championship should be applauded.

However despite this involvement and support by Sports Scientists and Nutritionists, referees will by the nature of the game find themselves sadly in a position that does not afford them the viewing angle to make those crucial decisions.

This is where the VIDEO ASSISTANT REFEREE should be used

Graham Scott during Leicester’s away trip to Bournemouth failed to award a penalty kick to the home side after a deliberate handball.  Like many errors at this level the match officials are exposed to the numerous number of camera angles available.

Graham Scott had little if no chance of gaining a position to see the incident. Neither could his assistants help because they did not have a chance to view it.

However once again, sat in front of my screen like the millions who watch around the world our top officials are being let down by the Premier Leagues decision not to introduce the video referee.

That loss of points to Bournemouth may prove crucial at the end of the season assuming that Bournemouth would have scored from the penalty mark.

Here is yet another example of why the Premier League are out of step with leagues around the world in not introducing the video referee.