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.”
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?”