FA request to trial BODY CAMERAS for referees at grassroots level

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FA request to trial BODY CAMERAS for referees at grassroots level with the technology – which is currently banned under IFAB’s Laws of the Game – seen as ‘protection’ against verbal and physical assaults

  • Football’s ‘Laws of the Game’ currently prevent referees from wearing cameras
  • A new report has detailed how the FA want IFAB to launch a body camera trial
  • Any such trial would reportedly only be for grassroots football in England 


The Football Association have called for a trial of grassroots referees wearing body cameras during matches. 

Body cameras are currently banned under the International Football Association Board’s (IFAB) ‘Laws of the Game’, law 5.5. 

Ref Support UK, a charity organisation that provides support to officials across the country, has been pushing for several years to give referees’ added protection in the form of cameras. 

The FA have made a request to IFAB to allow grassroots referees to trial wearing body cameras (Pictured: Bolton Wanderers manager Ian Evatt confronting referee Ross Joyce in League One)

The FA have made a request to IFAB to allow grassroots referees to trial wearing body cameras (Pictured: Bolton Wanderers manager Ian Evatt confronting referee Ross Joyce in League One)

Ref Support UK believe the introduction of cameras can offer extra protection to referees

Ref Support UK believe the introduction of cameras can offer extra protection to referees

Confirming news that the FA has made a proposal to IFAB to launch a trial, Ref Support UK now wait to hear it be considered at the lawmakers’ next meeting, on March 3. 

If the trial gets the go-ahead, referees would be eligible to record conversations with players and coaches. 

As a result, if an altercation transpires the body camera footage can be used as evidence in disciplinary cases. 

The Times report that The Toolstation Western League, which covers seven counties in the South West, is viewed as a likely triallist for the body cameras.  

Cameras are seen as a useful deterrent for officials in a bid to combat physical and verbal assaults.

Law 5.5 currently reads: ‘Referees and other ‘on-field’ match officials are prohibited from wearing jewellery or any other electronic equipment, including cameras.’ 

Ref Support chief executive Martin Cassidy continues to push for the trial, believing the time is right for change. 

‘We genuinely believe that this is a game-changer for the protection and training of referees at all levels,’ Cassidy said.

A trial would be limited to grassroots but would allow referees to record conversations with players and coaches, in hope technology is a deterrent to abuse. (Pictured: Premier League)

A trial would be limited to grassroots but would allow referees to record conversations with players and coaches, in hope technology is a deterrent to abuse. (Pictured: Premier League)

‘Body-cams will help address all forms of abuse, not just ref abuse, and will be a significant tool in addressing and evidencing this huge problem in our game.

‘The time is right for introducing robust, modern and forward-thinking measures to address the huge problem of abuse that football is currently facing.

‘This is not the end of our campaign to permit referees to wear body cams and we will watch closely how this develops. We hope IFAB see that including the words “no cameras” was a backward step in protecting referees and making football a safer game for all across the world.’ 

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