SFA denies blocking Hibs derby plan to mic up Nick Montgomery

Montgomery was to wear a microphone throughout the Edinburgh derby.

Scottish FA reveals IFAB rule prevented Hibernian plan to mic up Nick Montgomery SNS Group

The Scottish FA has said it did not take steps to block plans that would have seen Hibernian manager Nick Montgomery wear a microphone throughout the Edinburgh derby but did pass on IFAB rules to the club.

Broadcaster Sky Sports had revealed plans to include live audio from Montgomery throughout the match against Hearts, with his assistant Sergio Raimundo wearing a body cam so that viewers could hear and see the touchline coaching during the fiercely-contested Premiership game.

The move was abandoned shortly before the game, with presenter Eilidh Barbour telling viewers that the governing body had pulled the plug on plans.

The Scottish FA moved to clarify their position, saying that they merely checked that the innovative move was within the rules after learning about the proposal. They revealed that the international rules for football, put together by the International Football Association Board, prevent the use of microphones for broadcast use.

A Scottish FA statement read: “Contrary to reports and commentary ahead of tonight’s Edinburgh Derby, the Scottish FA did not block the use of communication equipment or cameras as part of the matchday broadcast.

“Upon learning of the plans via a media release, we asked IFAB on behalf of the clubs, league and broadcaster and were informed on Christmas Eve that the intended use was not allowed within Law 4, which states that the use of electronic communication by team staff is permitted only when it relates to player safety and wellbeing, or for tactical or coaching reasons.

“We immediately relayed this confirmation from IFAB to the relevant parties.”

Law 4 states: “The use of any form of electronic communication by team officials is permitted where it directly relates to player welfare or safety or for tactical/coaching reasons but only small, mobile, handheld equipment (e.g. microphone, headphone, earpiece, mobile phone/smartphone, smartwatch, tablet, laptop) may be used. A team official who uses unauthorised equipment or who behaves in an inappropriate manner as a result of the use of electronic or communication equipment will be sent off.”

Hibs boss Montgomery had said that he had agreed to the plan in order to help “showcase the league”.

He said: “Look, it is something that we agreed on.

“As a club we were willing to embrace it in order to really showcase the league and this special derby, because it is a special derby.

“Two clubs steeped in history and there is a real passion and desire between both sets of fans.”

Hearts won the derby 1-0 after a late goal from captain Lawrence Shankland.

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