We are delighted to be informed by the FA and IFAB that The FA have tabled a Body Cam Pilot for discussion at the next IFAB AGM on March 4th 2022.
Ref Support UK have for years, and alone, been lobbying IFAB and The FA for a Body Cam pilot via positive discussions with the current and previous CEO of The FA. We are delighted to hear of this development and we thank The FA for informing us.
We genuinely believe that this is a game changer for the protection and training of referees at all levels and evidence that The FA are committed to protecting referees at all levels of football particularly in grassroots football.
Body Cams will help address all forms of abuse, not just referee abuse and will be a significant tool in addressing and evidencing this huge problem in our game. The point was completely missed by IFABthat all forms of abuse can be addressed in our game with the use of body cams. Racial abuse, homophobic abuse, islamophobia, anti-Semitism, sexism can all be addressed in a way never seen before, it truly was a missed opportunity.
We wish to put on record our thanks to the many journalists and broadcasters who have helped us keep this in the mainstream media since we started our #Lovethewhistle programme in 2016.
We also need to acknowledge the significant part played by the board of The Toolstation Western League in this programme when they contacted The FA recently and made public their desire to be part of a Body Cam pilot. This prompted other leagues across England to contact us privately to state that they would also participate in a Body Cam pilot. This, we believe, proves that leagues still have the power to influence positive change within football.
The time is right for introducing robust, modern and forward thinking measures to address the huge problem of all forms 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.
Martin Cassidy CEO of Ref Support UK.