Webb backing new technology

Howard Webb thinks the respect shown by players towards referees

is better than ever.

Goalline technology will be introduced this season to try and

help officials, and Webb is fully behind behind the move.

Webb was speaking as the latest batch of young referees were

being put through their paces as part of an official traning day

involving the Referees Association.

As far as respect is concerned, Webb is in no doubt that the

game is moving in the right direction.

“It’s better than ever,” he told Sky Sports News. “I’ve been

involved in the Premier League for 10 years. If you look at the

records for cautions for dissent, the numbers are down.

“Speaking from personal experience, the relations I have with

players is by and large positive. Of course, football is an

emotional game and sometimes emotions spill over in a way that is

not acceptable, but most of the games that I am involved in pass

off without that sort of incident.

“For those of us in the Premier League, it’s our full-time

living. It’s our occupation. We have to be athletes – we have to be

totally physically and mentally prepared for the challenge.

“The demands are higher than ever before, and there’s more

scrutiny than there has ever been. I guess the youngsters who are

coming into the game now are hoping to get to that level.

“But to do so, they need to reach a certain standard in terms of

technical ability, physical stamina and fitness levels.”

Elite standard

David Elleray, the Referees’ Association chairman, is also

confident that the rewards now available at the top of the game

will ensure that the next generation of officials are of an elite


“The number of young referees people coming into football is

growing and growing,” said Elleray.

“I think the reason for that is the FA is looking after them

better and I think the interest is there because at the top level,

it’s a profession where you can now earn a good salary.

“Furthermore, if you want to be, you can be involved in the

biggest matches in the world in the best league in the world.”

One of the biggest innovations for this season will see the

introduction of goalline technology and Webb is in no doubt that it

will be a boon for spectators and referees alike.

“It is something quite new that we have not had before, and it

is something that we will all welcome,” he said.

“The biggest decision in the game is whether the ball has

crossed the line or not. It affects the result of the game and we

want to get those calls right.

“So if there is something that can help us get that right, then

why would we not want it?”