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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 May 2006, 10:38 GMT 11:38 UK
Refs to use new radio technology
By Nathan Mercer

Referee Graham Poll
Graham Poll has already used the link-up system in the Premiership
Referees' chief Keith Hackett has confirmed that Premiership officials will use new radio communication technology during matches next season.

The system allows referees to talk to their assistants using a microphone link and will be used by World Cup officials during the summer.

Hackett told BBC Sport: "The communication system will be in place in the Premiership next season.

"These are aids that will improve the standards of refereeing."

Former referee Hackett is now head of the Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOB) and he is confident the new system will be beneficial.

He added: "The referee has an open mic, his two assistants and fourth official can hear what is being said by him so they can have an insight into the feel of the game.

"The most important benefit is speed of communication
Keith Hackett

"The referee can ask questions to his assistants with a push-to-talk mic system that can be used to talk to the referee.

"It has lots of benefits - the most important being speed of communication.

"Graham Poll is one of the people who has been field-testing this both with ourselves and with Uefa.

"Graham and his assistants Philip Sharp and Glenn Turner have been very, very praiseworthy about it."

Poll and his assistants will use the equipment in Germany next month - before the technology is introduced to Premiership officials for the start of the new season.

A Premier League spokesman said: "It will be used in a similar format to that used in the World Cup where the four officials will use the push-to-talk system.

"We and Keith Hackett hope that it will improve the communication between officials and it is a positive step for the game."

The system has already been tested in the Premiership during the Fulham against Bolton game in November.

Poll was the man in the middle then and he has also used the link-up in Champions League matches.

Football follows other sports such as both codes of rugby and cricket in adopting the technology.

SEE ALSO
Referees ready for radio tune-in
23 Feb 06 |  Football
Allardyce fumes over ref link-up
29 Nov 05 |  Bolton Wanderers


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