The artwork for the Between The Lines with Melissa Reddy podcast.

Remember a time when VAR was being pushed for to reduce the time spent talking about refereeing decisions? The technology is in, but the focus on the officials has never been greater, taking the spotlight away from the football itself and leading to death threats for the men with the whistle. 

In this episode, former Premier League ref Mark Halsey describes the horrific abuse his family was subjected to, but he also admits the standard of officiating in the top-flight needs to improve. He argues that VAR conversations should be made public, a view shared by Peter Walton and Ref Support’s Martin Cassidy. 

We discuss every issue surrounding officials in detail, from the problematic handball and offside laws to where the blame lies for a drop in England’s refereeing level.

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