French refereeing officials want to repeat and extend Saturday’s trial of a direct voice link between referee Laurent Duhamel and his linesmen.

The experiment was undertaken in Lille’s home match against Nantes and was declared a huge success by league president Frederic Thiriez.

“I expected to see the improvement in communication between the officials reflected in the game but not as much as this,” he said.

Television journalist Christian Jeanpierre had got the project off the ground after months of negotiation with the league, the French federation and FIFA.

He said: “Technically there’s no problem since we’ve been doing this in rugby since 1992. I always thought that the next revolution in sports coverage would be sound rather than pictures and I think this has showed the way.”

In fact, the conversations between referee and linesmen could not be heard by the television audience or commentators.
By Keir Radnedge

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