Fans universally share the same sentiment after being able to hear the referee’s commentary during the Women’s World Cup final between Spain and England.
With a staggering attendance of 75,000 fans at Stadium Australia in Sydney and millions of viewers tuning in from the UK, hopes were high for the Lionesses to replicate their success from the previous year’s Euros, this time on a global stage.
The significant match was broadcasted live on both the BBC and ITV at 11 am, and there was a considerable expansion in the coverage provided to viewers.
Throughout the Women’s World Cup, referees have been mic’d up and their decisions have been explained in a move that has gone down well.
Once going to the VAR screen, the official will announce their call – whether it be for a penalty, red card or offside – to the stadium and for those watching across the globe.
In the final, United States referee Tori Penso was instructed to go to the monitor and check a possible penalty for handball against Keira Walsh.
She studied the incident and then elected to give the penalty – explaining it was a “punishable handball by No.4” before pointing to the spot.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 20, 2023
Fans found it refreshing and want it to be permanent practice going forward.
One wrote: “Referee with a mic explaining decisions is great in woman’s WC. Should be in all professional games.
A second said: “Can you please introduce the referees’ mic in all decisions for all football games please? This is sooo needed.”
A third agreed: “That’s class that you can actually hear the referee give the decision.”
A fourth user added: “Referee in the World Cup actually saying her decision on the mic like in the NFL. I don’t mind that.
A fifth opined: “Must say I’m a fan of the referee being mic’d up to talk to the stadium about VAR decisions.”
Golden Glove winner Mary Eaps made a superb save to deny Jennifer Hermoso from 12 yards and let out a shock, expletive-filled celebration.
It was hoped that the save would galvanise Sarina Wiegman’s side but they could not find the all-important equaliser and Spain were crowned world champions courtesy of captain Olga Carmona’s first half strike.