Referees are once again in the headlines following allegations made by Chelsea regarding Mark Clattenburg’s alleged ‘inappropriate language’ during the Chelsea-Man Utd fixture at the weekend.
One of the suggestions being discussed as an alternative system to combat once and for all such events, is to record the referees microphone, either to the general public, or at least for the use of the refereeing authorities. This is not currently the case in the Premier League, although has been used in the recent World Cup.
What few people will be aware, is that there has been a recent test of recording the referee and his assistants – in Euro 2008, the Group D game between Greece and Sweden, refereed by controversial Swiss Massimo Busacca, shed some light on what we could expect should the FA decide to add microphones in this country. The recording was made as part of a documentary called ‘Referees at Work’.
Here is the video, and below is a rough transcript of the discussions. The talking is a mix between French, German, Italian and English.
After Karagounis appeared to dive, and makes gesticulations, referred to as ‘signs’ by Busacca, he suggests he’ll be booked for dissent if he doesn’t stop.
Massimo Busacca (MB): Karagounis! Karagounis! No sign! No sign!
Giorgos Karagounis (GK): Sorry!
MB: F**K ‘sorry’!
MB: Come on Karagounis, no signs! You’ll get a yellow, for f**ks sake, leave it!
During the game, following a foul, the referees assistant calls up a foul:
Matthis Arnet (MA): Yellow, yellow.
MB: Matthias, are you sure, 100%?
Fourth Official Ivan Bebek (IB): Good work.
The fourth official appears uncertain as to whether it is the right time to make the substitution, angering Busacca:
IB: Play on, play on.
MB: Change or not?!
MB: For f**ks sake (muttered under his breath).
As Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores Sweden’s opener.
IB: There’s a big storm in the city.
IB: Patrick told me there’s a big storm in the city. Maybe it will come here.
MB: I don’t understand, what the f**k are you saying?
IB: It’s raining in the city, big rain, so maybe it will come here, in a few moments because now…
MB: It’s not my problem, shut up.
IB: Ok, but just to be prepared.
MB: Shhh, concentrate, concentrate! Ivan, please, please! Don’t talk for the sake of it. Let’s not f**k it up at the end.
The injury time is nearly up, and Busacca wants indications from the fourth official on how many seconds are left:
MB: Ivan, am I talking to myself? For f**ks sake. off.
IB: Begins countdown.
MB: Yes, talk, talk!
IB: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1, end.
The game ends, and Traianos Dellas complains about a previous decision:
MB: Look we are not God, we make mistakes.
TD: Me too.
To Angelos Basinas, also complaining:
MB: I’m sorry. I’m not God. You make mistakes too – I’m very sorry.
Assistant referees are pleased that they had a successful game.
AR1: We did it!
AR2: Was it good?
AR1: I think it went well!
*These translations and transcriptions are done to as accurate a level as we were able – the transcript cannot be taken as an official transcription of the video.
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