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Seeing is Believing: Premier League Referee Set to Wear Bodycam in Match

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For the first time in a Premier League game, fans and supporters will witness a referee wearing a video bodycam.

The much-anticipated game will be played this evening between Crystal Palace and Manchester United. The referee, Jarred Gillet will wear a device called a ‘RefCam’ mounted with the camera on his head.

However, the footage from the camera will not be broadcast while the match is on.

It will be used in a program to provide insight for officiating in the Premier League games.

Another instance where a referee has worn a camera during a match in the past happened in February.

The referee presiding over the Bundesliga games, Daniel Schlager wore a camera and Microphone during the match. The match ended in a 2-2 draw between Eintracht Frankfurt and Wolfsburg.

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They later incorporated the recorded material from the match into a program which was called ‘Mic’d up – Bundesliga’.

Bodycams for Referees, To Reduce the Amount of Abuse to Officials

In the Premier League of last year 2023, referee Rob Jones used a Bodycam for a match between Chelsea and Brighton.

This happened during the summer series match between the two teams in Philadelphia.

The football association in adult grassroots football last year put these body cams into trial. The aim was to reduce the rate at which players abused the officials.

Since the trial began, incidents of referee abuse recorded in about 500 matches have abruptly dropped to zero, as noted by the Football Association. This confirms that bodycams serve the purpose of deterring disgraceful behaviors against officials.

When individuals think they can do whatever they want, the bodycam makes them realize there would be evidence against them.

In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, Daniel Meeson, FA’s refereeing head, explained that the referees now feel safer.

They only need to activate the bodycam when necessary, and it captures the previous 30s of footage from activation.

The referee only needs to press a button to activate this device. Once the 30secs recording is over, he sends the clip to the FA.

In this interview Ian Ladyman questions if football can survive without match officials, and wonders why they are treated so badly

 

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