Arsenal stars back campaign to support grass-roots referees

The ‘Back The Whistleblowers’ campaign is raising money for the training of budding officials

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A new campaign which highlights the crucial role that match officials play in football has been backed by Arsenal stars Olivier Giroud, Nacho Monreal and Petr Cech.

‘Back The Whistleblowers’, an initiative from online bookmaker Betfair and independent organisation You Are The Ref, is aiming to raise awareness of how difficult it can be to officiate in the sport. 

It is also intended to raise funds, with Betfair promising to donate £10 to You Are The Ref for every yellow card issued in the Premier League to date (including this weekend’s games)

Donations will be used to send more grass roots referees on special training courses to help improve the overall standards of refereeing and participation numbers in the UK. 

Arsenal stars Giroud, Monreal and Cech took it in turns to referee an 11-a-side amateur match to show just how tough it can be. Among the players involved were former Premier League officials Mark Halsey and Glenn Turner, who were tasked with rating the refereeing performance of each of the Arsenal stars.