Every time you watch football with that one mate from school who only watches the World Cup and the Euros, you’ll hear the usual complaints of football needing to be more like rugby.
“They should just stop the game while the ball’s not in play,” he says to no one in particular.
“Why aren’t the refs mic’d up,” he asks, in between sips of bitter from a shoe. It’s the shoe he was wearing five minutes ago, and which he’ll be wearing again in five minutes’ time. You’d think he’d have brought a spare, considering how often this happens.
With football making plenty of its own changes, not least video refs and extra subs during extra-time, we can’t rule out more ‘advances’ in the game – especially when it comes to the accountability of officials, even if we’re some time away from mic’d up referees.
Sometimes they can even seem useful, too, even if they don’t involve changes to the rules. Case in point: the referee camera we saw during the MLS All Stars’ exhibition match against Real Madrid.
Every time we witness a Premier League flashpoint, we do so from multiple angles, often slowed down almost to the point of it being frame-by-frame.
In case you hadn’t guessed, the referee doesn’t see all that at the time.
Allen Chapman was the man in the middle for this year’s All Star game, in which the European champions came up against the likes of Tim Howard, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Kaká.
In the video below, you can see everything from Chapman’s perspective, from the pre-match handshakes through to the final whistle, including his view of Marcelo’s winning penalty.
Next time you’re about to criticise a refereeing call, consider that they only get the chance to see it once, in real time, from one angle.
Not so easy now, is it?
(Images:Major League Soccer/Rex Features)