Players referee Betfair amateur match

Betfair Whistleblowers

Betfair, the club’s official betting partner, has launched a new campaign, ‘Back The Whistleblowers’, which highlights the crucial role that match officials play while also raising awareness of just how tough their job can be. 

To help launch the campaign, Betfair invited three players to officiate a match. Olivier Giroud, Nacho Monreal and Petr Cech took it in turns to referee an 11-a-side amateur match. Among the amateur players involved were ex-Premier League officials Mark Halsey and Glenn Turner, who were tasked with rating the trio's refereeing performance.

Halsey said: “Giroud took it all in his stride and made some great decisions on the day, something he also does on the pitch as a player. Cech showed his leadership qualities and relished the pressure, making two great decisions, one resulting in a player being sent off for a handball on the line.  Monreal did a good job but said he found it harder than predicted and that he’d underestimated the responsibility that referees have in a game.”

Betfair spokesman Harry Phillips said “Betfair’s Back The Whistleblowers campaign is all about highlighting the important role that referees play in football, from grassroots through to the professional game. We wanted to partner with You Are The Ref to show our support for such a difficult job and to help them with the improvement of refereeing standards in the UK.

“Referees performances and decisions are under the spotlight and there is constant discussion about refereeing standards. It’s one of the toughest jobs in the sport, but someone has to do it. Without referees we wouldn’t have football."

Betfair has committed to donating £10 to You Are The Ref for every yellow card issued in the Premier League to date, including this weekend’s games, showing the brand’s commitment to referees at all levels.

The money donated will be used to send more grass roots referees on special training courses to help improve the overall standards of refereeing and participation numbers in the UK.