“Wall of silence” around NRL referees must be torn down, says Greg McCallum
Former NRL referees boss Greg McCallum has called for greater transparency in the decision making of match officials to improve the fan-to-referee relationship.
“Frustration builds because no-one is prepared to come out, other than send an email out or a memo to say ‘the referee got it wrong on Saturday'” Greg McCallum told Macquarie Sports Radio‘s Cam Reddin.
“No-one’s really out there week-in, week-0ut talking about the game, talking about interpretations, talking about the rules. People get frustrated because there is this perceived wall of silence”, he said.
In the right circumstances, McCallum believes regular press conferences with match officials may improve transparency between fans and referees.
“You need to have a leader of the referees that is very accomplished in speaking in the media,” McCallum said.
“The game has got to have this transparency around it that I don’t think it has at the moment.”
McCallum slammed the use of the Bunker, declaring it has taken control of the game out of the referee’s hands. He says instead of relying on an outside official, the final say on all decisions should be made by the on-field referee.
“The referee has always been the person out there in charge of the game. The referee in the centre is not in charge of the game any more, the guy in the Bunker is,” “The senior Bunker official is the decision maker in the game and that is wrong,” McCallum said.
“It’s all about decision making and the confidence to make decisions,” he said.
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