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A 30-second publicity spot explaining and promoting the continuing experiment with additional assistant referees is being launched this week to coincide with the kick-off of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League group stages.
The spot will be aired on giant screens at stadiums throughout Europe, and distributed to broadcasters who will be covering the action on the field. Under the experiment, the referee, two assistant referees and the fourth official are accompanied by two additional assistants who take up positions alongside each goal.
Their particular brief is to focus on incidents that take place in the penalty area, such as holding or pushing at set-piece situations. The deployment of additional assistant referees is also seen to have a deterrent effect, as players will be aware that they are being closely watched. The team of five officials is connected by an audio system, thereby enabling the referee to take a decision when he is informed of an incident, and the presence of the additional assistants covers a larger angle of vision in the penalty area.
The spot shows the refereeing team in action, and a series of key messages are emphasised. The deployment of additional assistant referees provides More Vision, More Communication and More Information for the match officials to make their decisions more effectively. As the UEFA chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina puts it at the end of the video: Now We See More. The spot ends with a key UEFA value – Respect – and, in this case, it is the referees who are deserving of respect from players, coaches, officials and spectators.
Following a decision by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in July, the trial continues at matches in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons, and in the UEFA Super Cup in 2011. Europe's elite coaches gave their support to the experiment at the recent UEFA Elite Club Coaches Forum in Nyon.
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