Sports letter: International pool for referees

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The Independent Online
Sir: I wondered if Richard Williams ("Red mist for the men in black", 31 December) had considered a European "scheme" in which referees could be pooled to take charge of games in Europe.

Such use of officials works well in European competitions and could work successfully in individual national premier leagues. Following the rapid "internationalisation" of the Premiership (in players, coaches, managers), I suggest that this route should be considered as well as professional referees. Such a proposal would also improve our own refereeing standards by allowing them more European experience. As a referee of 10 years experience, it is important to recognise the conservatism of the Football Association, but there is some hope that refereeing is beginning, albeit slowly, to move from mid-20th century postures to football reality of 1999.

RICHARD SKELLINGTON

Stony Stratford,

Milton Keynes

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