A Referee Was Mic'd Up On Sky Sports For The First Time Ever, The Footage Is Fascinating
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A referee was mic'd up for the first time in Sky Sports history, offering viewers a fascinating insight into how an official takes charge of a game.
For Chelsea's 5-0 win over Reading earlier this month in the Women's Super League, Emily Heaslip had a mic attached to her picking up all kinds of dialogue with both sets of players and giving an understanding of her decision-making.
A snippet of the footage was posted on Sky Sports' social channels as part of a full feature on the 'Inside the WSL' programme.
The clip selected sees Heaslip award a penalty for a foul on Beth England inside the area before she converts the subsequent penalty.
We see the full process of her managing the situation, from asking England if she is the taker to instructing opposite goalkeeper Grace Moloney to keep one foot on the line.
Calm but authoritative, Heaslip also makes sure there's no encroaching in the area and from just less than a minute, you get an indicating of the rapport she has developed with the players and the importance of doing so.
The full feature will also see fellow officials Ceri Williams, Georgia Ball and Louise Saunders have their live, on-pitch conversations aired and provide a new level of access.
This should be interesting - the officials were mic'd up for Chelsea v Reading (#FAWSL, 3rd Apr) and fans will be able to hear some of it on Sky's Inside the WSL show tonight (6.30). Rare insight. The team of officials: Emily Heaslip, Ceri Williams, Georgia Ball & Louise Saunders— Tom Garry (@TomJGarry) April 21, 2022
Officials from Chelsea’s 5-0 win vs Reading on April 3 in the @BarclaysFAWSL were mic’d up.— Charlotte Harpur (@charlotteharpur) April 20, 2022
You can hear the audio, how referee Emily Heaslip communicates with her team and the processes of their decision making on Inside the WSL on @SkySportsPL at 6.30pm on Thursday.
Fans have long been demanding for referees to be mic'd up in the Premier League. It's happened in the A-League over in Australia with Jarred Gillett's final game in the division before he made the step up to English football.
But UEFA did break new ground in 2020, releasing footage of referees and VAR officials in conversations over some of the biggest decisions in a documentary called 'Man in the Middle'.
The series also shared the relationship between referees and players, with one such instance seeing Bjorn Kuipers tell Lionel Messi to "show some respect" during Barcelona's 3-0 win over Liverpool at the Nou Camp.