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Premier League referee wore camera in Crystal Palace vs Man Utd - Jarred Gillett used 'Ref Cam' during match

Gillett wore head-mounted 'RefCam' in Premier League first during game at Selhurst Park, live on Sky Sports on Monday; Footage will be used in educational programme later in year - watch a taster below; FA has been trialling bodycams

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Premier League football as you've never seen it before - watch Crystal Palace against Manchester United from the Ref Cam of Jarred Gillett.

Referee Jarred Gillett wore a camera during the Premier League game between Crystal Palace and Manchester United, live on Sky Sports.

Gillett donned a head-mounted 'RefCam' at Selhurst Park in a Premier League first.

The technology was approved for use in Monday's game by football's lawmakers, IFAB, as well as Premier League refereeing body, PGMOL, and both clubs.

But the Premier League said that Gillett would only wear the kit as part of filming "for a one-off short programme promoting match officials".

The footage from Gillett's camera was not be broadcast live, but will be shown later in the year as part of a programme "aimed at offering further insight and education into the demands of officiating in the Premier League". Want a taster? Tap or click on the vide above!

The technology has previously been attached to the referee's chest, but Gillett wore a head-mounted device that connects to the usual officials' communications system.

Has 'RefCam' been used before?

Referee Rob Jones wore a camera mounted on his chest during a pre-season game between Chelsea and Brighton in Philadelphia last summer.

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During another pre-season Summer Series game, ref Peter Bankes captured a stunning Harry Wilson goal for Fulham.

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Referee Peter Bankes captured Harry Wilson's superb curler to open the scoring in Fulham's Premier League Summer Series match against Brentford.

'RefCam' has also been introduced in Germany's Bundesliga this season, with match official Daniel Schlager wearing a camera during a 2-2 draw between Frankfurt and Wolfsburg in March that saw early goals, bookings and an injury-time equaliser.

A camera was attached to Schlager's headset to film the match from his viewpoint, with a sound link conveying his conversations on the pitch.

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Watch the Bundesliga from the referee's point of view with Daniel Schlager wearing a Ref Cam in the match between Eintracht Frankfurt and VfL Wolfsburg. #bundesliga

In another attempt to provide insight into the referee's experience, Emily Heaslip was mic'd up - for the first time in Sky Sports history - during a WSL match between Chelsea and Reading.

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For the first time in Sky Sports history referee Emily Heaslip was mic’d up during the WSL match between Chelsea and Reading.

Ref bodycams trialled in grassroots football

The Football Association (FA) in fact started a trial of referee bodycams in adult grassroots football in February 2023.

The trial, which the FA said was the first of its kind in the world, saw 100 referees across four leagues - starting in Middlesbrough - don the kit after permission from IFAB.

Bodycams - later included in the FA's officials referee strategy for 2023-26 - are also currently being trialled in leagues in Liverpool, Essex and Worcestershire.

The FA said the aim of the trial was to explore whether the use of bodycams "improves participant behaviour and respect towards referees in the grassroots game".

Speaking to the FA last summer after three months of trials, referee development officer Ross Joyce said: "This trial was clearly a message of intent by the FA to better support and protect match officials.

"Players have commented that it has impacted on their behaviours and influenced their conduct towards referees, especially around subjective decisions.

"Feedback has been equally positive from our referees... every referee has commented that they feel more comfortable and safer."

Dermot Gallagher's verdict: RefCam 'will open eyes'

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Dermot Gallagher believes the one-off RefCam being used in tonight's Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Manchester United will help educate fans

Ahead of the game, former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher said on Ref Watch that footage would "open people's eyes".

"It will show a lot of things that people don't realise," he said.

"There was an incident at Burnley on Saturday when Burnley wanted a penalty, and if the referee had a head camera on, you would have seen what he saw, and that's totally different to what you would see as a spectator.

"It will open people's eyes a little bit, to see what it's for and how educational it will be."

Fellow Sky Sports pundit Stephen Warnock said: "As long as it's used in the right way, I like the sound of it. We're always trying to find ways of progressing the game and helping referees. I'm really looking forward to watching it from a positional sense."

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