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Laurent Duhamel: "A referee does not need the use of a microphone to show authority"

2021-10-26T15:13:49.167Z

The former referee now in charge of the professional sector at the Technical Department of Refereeing took stock of the start of the season, mentioning both the VAR, the possible use of microphones, etc.



Laurent, what is your assessment of the start of the season in terms of refereeing and VAR?


Laurent Duhamel:

We believe that the results are rather satisfactory.

Obviously, as in any human professional activity, there are things to improve.

But overall we are satisfied with the results in the field, and in terms of video assistance.

There have been a few game situations that have given rise to controversy, with different appreciations and interpretations.

We are well aware that we still have a long way to go, but I am convinced that we are on the right track with referees making increasingly uniform decisions.

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However, VAR continues to be criticized, even questioned ...


Yes, because some forget that it only appeared three years ago.

However, for each system, it takes time, work and education for it to become more and more efficient.

Since you don't know how to drive perfectly after two or three lessons, VAR takes a few years to improve.

Our video assistants, match after match, gain in competence and experience.

Top-level referees see VAR as a way to move towards greater excellence and expertise.

Laurent Duhamel

Within the referees, on the other hand, is there unanimity on the benefits of VAR? Is it considered today as indispensable?


You must be deeply convinced that what predominates in a referee's brain is this desire to preserve sports justice and equity. Referees today are fortunate to have the help of video assistance that can ease your conscience after a game by allowing you to correct a mistake. I would have liked to have had such help when I was in the field. It would have allowed me to fall asleep a little earlier some nights instead of rehashing bad judgment. So high level referees see VAR as a way to move towards more excellence and expertise.

But with VAR, aren't the current arbitrators afraid of losing their autonomy and, in a way, their authority?


Of course, high-level arbitration activity is changing significantly.

But I would tend to tell you that the young referees who arrive today on the national and international scene live in this world of images, where there is a way to change a penalty and a red card.

They don't have a problem with that.

It's now an intrinsic part of the game.

Beyond the video, there is also the question of sound now.

Are you in favor of the referees' comments being transcribed?


Without demagoguery, we are all for the use of this sound. When I tell you all, I think of the arbitrators and the leaders of French arbitration. Now things don't always move as fast as we would like. To make certain things evolve, it takes time and agreements from higher authorities, namely the IFAB and Fifa. As soon as these agreements arrive, the French Federation and the technical direction of the arbitration will go in the direction of the history because we have never been people to wish to remain on square meadows. We have always been keen to develop our football and our refereeing. We are not dragging our feet at all. But let's leaveyou like the time for authorities to make the right decisions to use these sounds in restricted contexts.

What do you mean by “restricted contexts”?


It will be considered, debated.

It is already necessary to know whether the players themselves and the club managers are also in favor.

Each player in football matches must join.

Then you have to think about the framework.

At the Arbitration Directorate, we have a favorable opinion on global use.

But we must be careful that this use does not damage our football on certain points.

It is necessary to sort out a little bit and to leave all schuss on a use of the sound during the meetings.

All of this will have to be worked on.

Even if a referee reconsidered his mistake right after the game, I think it would just add a little more fuel to the fire.

Laurent Duhamel

You yourself tested it on November 9, 2002 during the Lille-Nantes match. Did that influence your way of officiating?


Not especially. I also want to take the opportunity to twist the neck of a received idea that using sound on the field will give more authority to the referees. For me, this use of sound will not change our management of players in conflict situations. To say that the referees will be more respected and that the players will contest less or will not utter insults, I take exception. In 98% of cases, the relationship between players and referees goes well. Unfortunately, as in so many other fields, only the rare conflict situations are highlighted. But a referee does not need the use of a microphone to exercise authority. A referee will never be insulted without the offending player being sent off.

Before this total transparency, should there not be an intermediate stage with more frequent referees to speak to recognize this or that error?


This is outright prohibited by Fifa and UEFA. The instructions given to the international referees are very clear: no comments on the referees' decisions at the end of the matches. On the other hand, one could imagine in the coming months referees or a refereeing directorate who would have to position themselves technically on the work that was accomplished during a meeting. But I'm wary of hot debriefings which I think could create even more frustration. Even if a referee reconsidered his mistake right after the match, I think it would only put a little moreoil on the fire.

Should we also review the use of VAR vis-à-vis offside by granting tolerance to attackers?


We each have our sensitivity regarding the management of offside goals or not offside for a few centimeters. Despite everything, this individual sensitivity cannot take precedence over the recommendations of international bodies and for this to be understandable for each of us, it must be approached in the same way in France, England, Portugal or in France. Italy. And if I answer you personally, I will not advance the schmilblick and I will only add confusion to a frankly thorny and complex subject.

Arsène Wenger pushes the idea of ​​an evolution towards an automated offside, with a machine that would never go wrong.

Do you believe it?


We have to ask ourselves the same philosophical questions over and over again, asking ourselves where we want to put technology.

How far are we ready to go?

Does everything have to be robotic?

Or do we leave a part of appreciation, of interpretation which is also the beauty of our discipline, which means that we can talk about it for hours in a passionate way?

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2021-10-26

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