Webb backing new technology

Howard Webb thinks the respect shown by players towards referees is better than ever.

Last Updated: 15/07/13 at 12:42 Post Comment

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Goalline technology will be introduced this season to try and help officials, and Webb is fully behind behind the move.

Webb was speaking as the latest batch of young referees were being put through their paces as part of an official traning day involving the Referees Association.

As far as respect is concerned, Webb is in no doubt that the game is moving in the right direction.

"It's better than ever," he told Sky Sports News. "I've been involved in the Premier League for 10 years. If you look at the records for cautions for dissent, the numbers are down.

"Speaking from personal experience, the relations I have with players is by and large positive. Of course, football is an emotional game and sometimes emotions spill over in a way that is not acceptable, but most of the games that I am involved in pass off without that sort of incident.

"For those of us in the Premier League, it's our full-time living. It's our occupation. We have to be athletes - we have to be totally physically and mentally prepared for the challenge.

"The demands are higher than ever before, and there's more scrutiny than there has ever been. I guess the youngsters who are coming into the game now are hoping to get to that level.

"But to do so, they need to reach a certain standard in terms of technical ability, physical stamina and fitness levels."

Elite standard

David Elleray, the Referees' Association chairman, is also confident that the rewards now available at the top of the game will ensure that the next generation of officials are of an elite standard.

"The number of young referees people coming into football is growing and growing," said Elleray.

"I think the reason for that is the FA is looking after them better and I think the interest is there because at the top level, it's a profession where you can now earn a good salary.

"Furthermore, if you want to be, you can be involved in the biggest matches in the world in the best league in the world."

One of the biggest innovations for this season will see the introduction of goalline technology and Webb is in no doubt that it will be a boon for spectators and referees alike.

"It is something quite new that we have not had before, and it is something that we will all welcome," he said.

"The biggest decision in the game is whether the ball has crossed the line or not. It affects the result of the game and we want to get those calls right.

"So if there is something that can help us get that right, then why would we not want it?"

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