Report claims refs are anti-French
An academic study has borne out what the French have always claimed – that they get a rough deal from English referees. Analysis of 70 Super League games involving the Catalan Dragons between 2006 and 2009 reveals what the researchers say is a persistent bias against the French on the part of British officials.
Dr Lionel Page, of the Judge Business School at Cambridge University, said the findings show that referees penalise foreign teams more than their fellow-countrymen, although the difference is less marked when the match is on live television.
"This bias implies that the French could have won nearly twice as many matches with neutral refereeing," said Dr Page. "Rugby is characterised by the necessity for referees to make a large number of subjective decisions in ambiguous situations. This study shows that these subjective decisions play a disproportionate role in the final match result."
Dr Page said that similar patterns emerge from his study of rugby union's Super-14 competition. "These results should prompt rugby federations to work further to limit the amount of referee subjective decisions in a match using more technology."
Dr Page, a French-born economist with no background in either code of rugby, has offered to share his findings with the Rugby League. "But they were not very keen," he said.
Latest in Sport
- 2 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 4 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward