Italy's Serie A Introduces Unprecedented Transparency with Release of Referee Audio Recordings
Italy's Serie A Releases Referee Audio Recordings
Italy's Serie A aims for increased transparency in video assistant referee (VAR) decisions. Starting from the upcoming season, audio recordings of the conversations between on-field referees and video assistant referees will be made public.
According to football federation president Gabriele Gravina, Italy is the first country to take this step. It is intended that everything discussed during a Serie A match between the referee on the field and the video assistant referees will be open to the public.
Recordings to be released at the beginning of the week
The plan is to release the recordings of particularly contentious incidents from the previous matchday at the beginning of each week. The holder of TV rights in Italy, a streaming service, will then be able to publish the audio and video footage and incorporate it into their programming. Gravina emphasizes that there is nothing to hide, as the football federation aims for utmost transparency, even regarding the decisions made by the video assistant referees.
In the past season, there was frequent criticism of the intervention by the video assistant referees in Italy. Additionally, a case involving AS Roma coach José Mourinho had caused a stir. The Portuguese coach had claimed that he had worn a hidden microphone under his clothing to secretly record the referees' statements after a match.
Implementation at the start of the new Serie A season
The new transparency initiative in Italy's Serie A will begin with the first matchday of the new season. Federation president Gravina hopes that the publication of conversations between on-field referees and video assistant referees will help fans and interested parties gain a better understanding of the challenges referees face in officiating a football match and making the right decisions consistently.