Editorial: Time to give microphones to football referees


The plan to combat racism in football with "cultural lessons" for foreign players does have some basis in reality. After all, one of last season's racism scandals turned on Uruguayan Luis Suarez's use of a word that he claimed does not carry the same connotations back home. Where the scheme falls down, however, is in its failure to notice that the other recent fracas involved the entirely home-grown Chelsea captain, John Terry.

Cultural lessons for everyone then? There is an easier, and better, way – and that is for football to follow rugby's lead and equip all its referees with microphones. Miked-up refs would not only provide an interesting commentary, their presence would also curb the aggression and foul language that is one of the nastier aspects of the game. And with players' on-pitch excesses restrained, perhaps the more belligerent fans might also think before they act.