Aidan Smith: For the love of mic – it could improve football

Should football referees be mic-ed up like their counterparts in rugby? The issue has come up again following the sarcastic comments of the man officiating at the Sheffield United-Bournemouth game which nearly landed him in trouble.

Should football referees be mic'd up like their rugby counterparts?
Should football referees be mic'd up like their rugby counterparts?

Jon Moss is supposed to have made fun of Bournemouth’s lowly league position, telling a player: “Your team’s having one.”

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At first I couldn’t decide whether this was snowflake behaviour from the “victim” or if the whistler had overstepped the mark. I’ve opted for the latter, given how much some of football’s adjudicators in England’s “Prem” like the trappings of the players including tattoos, fast cars and Instagrammable squeezes.

Football is less esoteric than rugby, or it was until VAR. There are fewer mysteries in need of elucidation for the casual TV fan. But, without demonstrating any real ego, some rugby refs have added to the enjoyment of games as well as the education through their use of humour while keeping a tight grip on proceedings.

Rugby players rarely answer back whereas footballers do it ad nauseum. They might put a sock in it, though, if their vitriol was broadcast.