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Howard Webb Wants To Recruit Former Players To Become Referees

Howard Webb Wants To Recruit Former Players To Become Referees
By Michael Bolton Updated
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For Premier League Referee Howard Webb has said he wants to persuade former players to become referees.

After coming back from a role in Major League Soccer in the USA for six years, Howard Webb is now back in England as the chief refereeing officer at the Professional Game Match Officials Limited.

In recent seasons, it hasn't been an easy job for the match officials. Rules regarding handball and offside have dominated headlines, while VAR has continued to cause confusion.

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In order to ensure referees have a better understanding of the game, Howard Webb is keen to recruit former players into the game as referees, and described what impact it may have.

We need to look at how we can entice people in. We’ve always struggled to get ex-players involved. But I am sure somebody out there will want to be a trailblazer.

Somebody who’s played in the Football League – I don’t expect players who have played at the very highest level who have got other opportunities to come into (refereeing) – but somebody that has played a decent career, that’s got good knowledge of the game, maybe late 20s, suffering with an injury or whatever it might be that means they can’t play as regularly.

I think there’s an opportunity for someone to really blaze a trail and we would welcome them wholeheartedly with the skills they have got from that playing career provided they have got the other skills they need to be successful."

Having officiated hundreds of Premier League games during his career, if there is one referee who knows what the game needs, it's Howard Webb.

The 51-year-old's comments come just after the World Cup final, which saw Polish referee Szymon Marciniak officiate the World Cup final.

Howard Webb Describes Barriers To Former Players

Having taken charge of the 2010 World Cup Final, Howard Webb was very impressed with the performance of Marciniak, who had played at amatuer level.

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Howard Webb mentored him in his career, and revealed he is a "good friend". While he is an example of someone who has played the game and officiated at the highest level, Howard Webb acknowledged the barriers former players face entering refereeing.

I kind of get it, they want to be professional players, they’ve just been released by a Premier League club and I’m there saying, ‘think about being a ref.

Back then don’t forget it was a bloody long slog to the top. I started in December ’89 and I made my Premier League debut in October 2003. That’s 13 and a half years and that’s almost a promotion every year.

So you could see why there was a need to streamline it a little bit. You still need to do some of those difficult yards to get the experience you need to survive at the high levels and flourish there, but you can credit what experience you’ve already got in the game through playing or whatever it is and then build on that as quickly as you can and get them up there as quickly as possible, and that will entice people in."

SEE ALSO: France Lodge Complaint Over Mbappe Treatment During Argentina World Cup Celebrations

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