Author: Keith Hackett
Vast numbers of supporters around the world will be tuning in to watch the Manchester derby this weekend.
I can remember sitting in the middle of Kuala Lumpur some years ago watching an English Premier League game taking place on a big screen in front of thousands of local supporters.
The majority of the fans were wearing club colours and giving me a lesson on the history of each of the competing clubs – and the players.
Later that week I sat amongst a crowd of 80,000 in the same city. The majority were dressed in red and had come to watch Liverpool play a friendly against a local team.
The then manager of England’s professional referees, Paul Rejer, and I had delivered a Premier Skills referee development course to some new Asian referees.
The English Premier League is transmitted around the world to over 211 territories.
It gets huge coverage, hence its ability to attract large sums of television revenue and sponsorship.
I am delighted to see some thought having been given to the team of officials appointed to control what will be the biggest derby in years, taking place at Old Trafford on Saturday.
This game, of course, pitches two of the world’s best managers against each other and it will be interesting to see at first hand the tactics employed by Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.
I have no doubt that the world’s number one referee Mark Clattenburg will be up for the challenge, supported by a very experienced fourth official in Mike Dean.
I am confident that they will deliver a performance worthy of their status as our top two match officials.
Young referees, look closely at the position and movement of Clattenburg. His explosive sprinting ensures close proximity to play and his agility puts him into positive viewing angles to deliver a high accuracy in his decision-making.
His awareness and vision will give him the opportunity to apply advantages to ensure that we enjoy a high tempo performance.
Players in local derby games often get full of emotion and Mark has to read the temperature of the game to ensure that it does not boil over.
At YATR we send the match officials our best wishes and look forward to a demonstration of world class officiating.
The biggest game of the weekend gets exactly the right appointment.