It’s ironic that one of the few sports to let TV viewers hear what the ref is saying – rugby – also remains one of the politest in terms of player attitudes towards the man in… well, whatever colour he wears in rugby.
In other words, there’s no chance of hearing the kind of four-letter fusillades that would turn the airwaves blue if football ever miked up its referees. For shame.
Even so, the downside of miked-up refs is that people actually attending the game can’t hear what they’re saying. O2 is looking to provide a solution with a new iPhone app called O2 Ref Talk. It will let fans listen to live ref talk radio during the upcoming Autumn internationals against South Africa, New Zealand and Argentina.
It also throws in news, tweets from top players, and the ability to post comments on what you’re hearing while pushing them out to Twitter and Facebook. If you’re attending any of the games, it could be £1.19 well spent.