The International FA Board (IFAB) has agreed to an FA proposal to trial grassroots referees wearing bodycams to deter assault. RefsupportUK, a registered charity committed to supporting match officials, has been calling for the use of bodycams. However, IFAB, who oversee the rules of football, have previously resisted this measure.
Following the announcement on Monday, June 13th, RefSupportUK have stated: “We have stood alone for years in this long battle and people said it would never happen. So after years of lobbying, we are delighted to hear this news today and thank The FA for listening to us, particularly after the recent changes of leadership in the FA Referees Department.”
In December last year it was reported that the Toolstation Western League had written to the Football Association in support of the initiative, offering to take part in a pilot that could trial the use of bodycams, assessing their effectiveness in improving on pitch behaviour. RefSupportUK have also stated their appreciation for the public statement of support the Western League made for their campaign and their commitment to tackling the problem of match official abuses.
In a letter sent to RefsupportUK in December last year, the Western League recognised that ‘there are other considerations that need to be taken account of prior to commencing (a pilot), but in principle we are keen to support any initiative that enhances the enjoyment of football by players, spectators, club officials and match officials.’
Any pilot exercise would be undertaken with the full support and participation of the South West Peninsula League, who together with the Western League itself, are responsible for appointing match officials to both leagues