Premier League consider fifth referee introduction

Oi, ref… no, not you the other one! Premier League ponder FIFTH official

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UPDATED:

16:48 GMT, 31 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

The Premier League will consider having five referees at matches if evidence from UEFA's tests proves the system raises the standard of officiating.

The league's referees chiefs are waiting for the detailed analysis from trials in around 1,000 matches in Europe, but UEFA president Michel Platini has warned that countries who introduce the system will be given priority when it came to choosing officials for their competitions.

The system of having an extra official next to each goal has already been introduced into Italy's Serie A and will continue in the Champions League and Europa League this season.

Plans: Premier League chiefs could introduce a fifth official

Plans: Premier League chiefs could introduce a fifth official

A Premier League spokesman said: 'We have not had the most recent set of analysis and clearly we would want to study that, but generally where developments are proven to improve the standard of officiating it's always something the English game would look at.'

UEFA say the extra officials made crucial decisions at Euro 2012, allowed assistants to concentrate on offside calls, and acted as a deterrent to foul play at set-pieces.

Platini is adamant UEFA will not implement goal-line technology in European competitions and that the five-referee system is a better alternative.

He said: 'We have decided that we should suggest that additional assistant referees is the system that we want and we are trying to show the national associations that it is a good idea.

Support: UEFA President Michel Platini

Support: UEFA President Michel Platini

'Serie A in Italy has started and they are rather happy with it. Some associations will take longer than others.

'But if they want to have referees in big European competitions we will give priority to those coming from associations who are implementing the system so that there is understanding among the team of five referees.'

Platini insisted he was not threatening FAs and understood that some of the smaller associations could not afford to introduce the system.

He added: 'It is not a threat but we can give advice.'