WATCH: Ligue 1 referee wears mic during game and it makes for fascinating viewing

French referee
(Image credit: Amazon Prime)

After goal-line technology and VAR muscled their way into modern football – for better or worse – football fans know the next introduction is never far away.

And it seems the future is now, after a Ligue 1 referee was mic'd up for a recent clash between Lyon and Nantes in the French Cup. The footage was shared by broadcaster Amazon Prime Video – and it makes for fascinating viewing.

French top-flight referee Benoit Millot was audible throughout the game – which ended 1-1 between the clubs – and fans have praised his performance after watching his interactions with stars including Alexandre Lacazette. 

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The clip provides incredible into what officials say to players during a game. During the match, Millot could be heard telling players and coaches to stop complaining and to focus on the match, before offering congratulations to the winning side at the end. 

Whether because it was known that Millot was equipped with a microphone, the players generally responded respectfully to decisions. At on stage, Millot tells his assistants that everything has to go perfectly during a tense period of the game – and encourages them to stay on high alert. 

French football appears to be at the forefront of the development.  In March, it was reported that the nation's top referees could be fully audio-equipped in the near future as the French Football Federation "continues to push for the modernisation of the country’s refereeing system".

After the French Football Federation asked IFAB for permission to mic up referees, the organisation rubber-stamped a test for the Lyon-Nantes Cup game. 

Whether you're a fan of football getting with the times, or find modernisation of the beautiful game excruciating, you're sure to find the film interesting.

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Ed McCambridge
Staff Writer

Ed is a staff writer at FourFourTwo, working across the magazine and website. A German speaker, he’s been working as a football reporter in Berlin since 2015, predominantly covering the Bundesliga and Germany's national team. Favourite FFT features include an exclusive interview with Jude Bellingham following the youngster’s move to Borussia Dortmund in 2020, a history of the Berlin Derby since the fall of the Wall and a celebration of Kevin Keegan’s playing career.