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The future of officiating: analysing the impact of COVID-19 on referees in world football

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The COVID-19 outbreak has affected life around the world. As countries react to the pandemic through various measures impacting upon the civil liberty of citizens, football has not been immune to these interventions. Football around the globe has been interrupted, from professional lea- gues to grassroots and youth football, whilst attempts to restart the game have been problematic and complicated. Amongst all of the attempts across the world to restart professional leagues or identify when any level of football might be restarted are the referees, essential to any resumption of football. This commentary considers the role of referees in any restora- tion of football at professional, grassroots and youth level, the challenges and opportunities that might present themselves to FIFA, UEFA and other confederations and the national Football Associations (FA), as the COVID- 19 pandemic continues to impact football globally.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalSoccer & Society
Early online date18 May 2020
Publication statusEarly online - 18 May 2020


  • Webb_AAM

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Soccer and Society on 18.05.2020, available online:

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 251 KB, PDF document

    Due to publisher’s copyright restrictions, this document is not freely available to download from this website until: 18/11/21

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