A-League refs miked for sudden death

Football fans will be transported into the centre of the A-League finals action with referees miked-up for all five matches, including the Grand Final.

As part of the Fox Sports coverage, viewers will be able to listen to the whistle blowers outlining their decisions to the players.

Brisbane Roar, Western Sydney Wanderers, Central Coast Mariners, Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC and Adelaide United will battle it out in the 2014 sudden death finals series.

Fans get their first taste of ref audio on Friday night with the Big Blue between rivals Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC at the scene of the 2010 Grand Final – Etihad Stadium.

Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop hailed the audio trial as a breakthrough for the A-League, taking fans into the thick of the action.

“We believe the extra microphone is a significant step forward and gives fans a greater insight into what’s happening on the pitch,” Gallop said.

“Sports fans around the world are privileged to be able to hear the thoughts of the referees and we’re pleased Hyundai A-League fans will be able to experience this as we move into a thrilling finals series.”

The microphones will not be broadcast live but used as part of the coverage.

Fox Sports CEO, Patrick Delany, said: “This is a massive development for football in Australia and we applaud the FFA for working with us to bring this innovation to life.

“Fans of other codes are now accustomed to hearing the reasoning for key decisions made during matches directly from the referee.

“Now football fans can experience that same level of insight throughout the Hyundai A-League finals series.”

All five A-League finals matches will be broadcast live on Fox Sports and on a one-hour delay on SBS 2.