Crystal Palace v Man Utd referee to wear camera

Crystal Palace v Man Utd referee to wear camera

A referee will wear a video camera tonight during Crystal Palace vs Manchester United for the first time in Premier League history.

Jarred Gillett will sport a device on his head known as ‘RefCam’, though the footage will not be available to fans via the live broadcast.

The video will instead be used and edited for a one-off programme providing insight into Premier League officials.

“We would like to thank Crystal Palace and Manchester United for their support with this project,” said the Premier League in a statement.

Bundesliga referee Daniel Schlager wore a camera and a microphone in February’s 2-2 draw between Eintracht Frankfurt and Wolfsburg, this time for a programme called ‘Referees Mic’d up – Bundesliga’.

It is the first time a Premier League referee has worn a camera in an official match, though official Rob Jones wore one during the 2023 Summer Series match between Chelsea and Brighton in Philadelphia.

Bodycams were trialled by the FA during adult grassroots football last year, though the idea was focused on “improving participant behaviour and respect towards referees”.

The initial trial took place across four counties, but after figures showed allegations of serious offences against grassroots match officials, the trial was expanded to eight counties last December.

There were 1,451 allegations in 2021-22, up one per cent from the previous campaign, when 1,430 offences were recorded, FA data revealed.

And the FA’s Annual Grassroots Disciplinary Review showed 72 allegations of an actual or attempted assault in the 2022-23 season, and 53 charges were made from those allegations with 42 proven.