A CALL has come for the top foreign referees to be imported to the English game.
Writing in today's edition of The Daily Telegraph, columnist Jason Burt says: "It is time to add the very best foreign referees to the to the Premier League roster.
"After all, the richest league in world football has not been slow to attract players and managers from every corner of the globe, so why not referees also?
"If it wants to be the best, then it should attract the best."
The columnist believes standards have slipped this season and believes home refs have been "bottling out" of awarding red cards for violent challenges.
He continues: "It seems they are refusing to take responsibility.
"May be they want to be low-key, maybe they are allowing the game to flow, but they are neglecting their main priority which is to ensure the safety of the players and that talented play is rewarded."
Burt shares the view, held by some, that the pool of talent here is too low and the introduction of overseas referees might encourage our own to raise their game.
He additionally suggests that some of our referees could officiate in the domestic leagues of other countries, thereby broadening their experience.
However, the columnist acknowledges that foreign referees are "far from infallible", noting that "some brutal challenges in the World Cup went unpunished".
His article does not address the administrative difficulties posed by his suggestion. Nor does he identify any individual foreign referees whom he thinks might do a better job than those already on the Premier League roster.