SANZAR has announced that it will draw up a merit list of referees and appoint them regardless of their national connections. But Kelvin Deaker, the top New Zealand referee who has just retired, doubts that it will work.
Deaker told PA Sport: “That might work for the first weekend until there’s some controversy.
“Personally, I wouldn’t think from a refereeing point of view [there would be extra pressure] but once the media get hold of it, once the crowd get hold of it, once an away team loses a close game with a controversial decision near the end of the game, then it’s certainly going to put a lot more pressure on that referee.”
On a different tack, Deaker applauds the introduction of the experimental law variations (ELVs).
Deaker said: “I liked the ELVs with the free-kick sanctions because it suited my style of game.
“It’s a very different game. Depending on how strict you want to be, you can have a hell of a lot of stoppages and it can turn into a very fast game.
“The referee cannot have a bigger influence, but certainly have more of an effect at the breakdown.”
Deaker also disputes the notion that the new laws have made a referee’s job easier.
“No, in a word. It brought in a whole new level of decision-making because now we have a whole lot of free-kicks to go with our penalties, to go along with our yellow card sanctions.”
Since the addition of TV refs and high definition slow motion replays referee performances have come under more scrutiny that ever before which adds pressure on referees to perform.
“There is a lot of pressure but pressure is what you make of it. You’ve got to have broad shoulders and be prepared to take it on the chin if you have made an error,” Deaker said.
“But for teams just to come out and blame refs because they’ve lost closely (is wrong).
“You’ve got to use some commonsense about it. There are things we’re going to miss, players miss tackles and we’re going to miss a forward pass.”Tweet