English referees are resisting calls to broadcast live audio of discussions during VAR reviews. Current laws prevent live broadcasts of conversations between on-field referees and VAR officials. However, Mark Bullingham, the chief executive officer of the Football Association (FA) is open to helping change these rules.

Along with being a top exec in the FA, Bullingham is also a director at the International Football Association Board (IFAB). This organization has the power to change laws within the sport. Recently, Bullingham revealed a split decision on whether to broadcast communication of big refereeing calls. According to the executive, those working behind the scenes want live audio to be public. Nevertheless, referees are reluctant to agree to the move.

FA exec: “Transparency is a really good thing”

“Generally there is a split in the room over that, and quite often it is between the marketing and commercial people and the referees,” stated Bullingham. “Our point of view, from the marketing and commercial perspective, would normally be that transparency is a really good thing, and we want fans to have the maximum experience.”

“My personal point of view is I do think [live audio] will continue to be a question over time, because the greater transparency shows how difficult the referee’s job is, and it has worked in other sports.”

Referees are “nervous” over decision to

While he is all for the introduction of the live audio conversations, Bullingham also understands hesitations by the referees. “There is an understandable nervousness from others that the referee’s job is hard enough as it is,” continued the exec. “In a tournament, you have referees with multiple languages, so it is not as straightforward as some might suggest.”

“So, I think we are taking a step in the right direction with announcing the decision and explaining why it has been reached. Let’s see if that leads to further progression.”

Corner kicks, free kicks to earn VAR review in near future

VAR has been a controversial topic among soccer fans since its introduction. However, the debacle during a Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur match was the biggest blunder by English referees in recent memory.

Bullingham also announced that IFAB may potentially increase the use of VAR soon. This means that Premier League referees may soon be able to review decisions regarding corner kicks and free kicks. Current laws prevent officials from taking a second look at these scenarios.

PHOTO: IMAGO / News Images