English officials to be recorded on matchdays

Top level English officials will now have their matchday communications recorded in the wake of the Mark Clattenburg case.

Referee chiefs are looking to avoid a repeat of the incident, with Clattenburg being cleared by the English FA on Thursday of racially abusing Chelsea's Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel after a lengthy probe failed to find evidence of wrongdoing.

"To reduce the risk of an episode of this nature being repeated PGMOL will introduce recording of the referees' communication system on a private basis," Mike Riley, general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited which administers top level English referees, said in a statement.

Premier League match officials, including referees, linesmen and the fourth official, are currently all connected through headsets and microphones to help them communicate above stadium noise but conversations had previously not been recorded.

"Refereeing in England moves on stronger. Our referees have a reputation throughout the world for their professionalism, impartiality and integrity," Riley added

Clattenburg was refereeing a Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester United on October 28 when Mikel's Brazilian team-mate Ramires, whose first language is not English, alleged he heard Clattenburg say to Mikel: "Shut up you monkey".


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