THE CEO of the Cumberland FA has said that the organisation will 'closely monitor' English Football's first ever referee body-cam trials. 

On Friday, February 17 England Football announced that the FA, in partnership with Reveal Media, would introduce recording technology, on a trial basis, for selected referees in four adult grassroots partner leagues across the country. 

The first of these trials began in Middlesbrough last weekend. It's estimated that in the first three months of the trial, more than 100 grassroots referees will wear the equipment whilst officiating. 

Whilst there are no current plans to roll out the trial in Cumbria, Cumberland FA CEO Ben Snowdon has detailed how the local football association will monitor the trial's progress.

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He said: "At this stage we are more of an interested bystander and will closely monitor and track feedback from the trial as to whether bodycams have any impact on the behaviour across these participating leagues.

"We'll then work with the National FA and our member leagues, clubs - and most importantly officials - to establish their feelings, should The FA look to roll this initiative out across other adult grassroots football leagues in England."

The announcement of the trial came days after a BBC Radio 5 Live questionaire had found that 293 referees out of the 927 who responded had been physically abused by spectators, players, coaches or managers.

Locally, Mr Snowdon did concede that the county FA has witnessed a 'small increase' in the number of behaviour-related cases in recent times - but said that serious incidents have remained 'rare'.

He said: "Overall the county has seen a small increase in the number of cases reported to us around behaviour, these have mainly been around low level, undesirable behaviour (shouting, arguing etc.), rather than unacceptable behaviour including discrimination, threats or actual violent acts or behaviours, which thankfully in Cumberland remain rare.

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"Based on our discipline data as of January 9, 2023, this season, 99 per cent of the 3,250 games that have been played within our leagues have been played without any reported misconduct, which means that most of our games and those involved in them, whether players, coaches, or spectators, are played within a positive football environment."