The beautiful game of… Refereeing

My not so ‘Super Sunday’

Honestly, it had the makings of a wonderful day.
It started off with a great game of tennis, then an elephant-ish breakfast and then a few hours of sleep, before i changed into red (one of my rituals on game day) and sat in front of the tele.
F1 started off well with the ‘Home’ Grand Prix. Meh..
Off to matters closer to the heart. The Mersey side Derby. An excuse to transcend into this scouse, chanting ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ as if in the Kop, watching my idols, not through the stands sadly, but the idiot box.  Following which some more of the beautiful game of….   Refereeing

Yes I said it. I’m sorry, and I know that many of you have probably heard enough about referees and controversies, but there comes a time when someone needs to draw the line. This weekend was the perfect example, well partly at least, about two poles apart when it came to the man with the whistle

First up
Merseyside derbies are known to be rowdy to say the least. 11 reds in the past 17 to 18 games show no love lost between the two sides. Naturally, these games need to be treated differently. Now now, don’t jump to a conclusion. When I say different, I mean one needs to consider the possibility of emotion when someone gets tackled.
Andre Marriner, the man in the spotlight, got most decisions right. This coming from a Liverpool fan that saw Joe Allen get mauled to the floor by Fellaini. Yes, Suarez did get away with a stamp on Distin, but for now, I’m going to leave that to burning passion for the ball (only because he chose to apologise) and now go to the level of calling him a disgrace (an argument for another day). Overall, Marriner passed that dreaded derby and it was unfortunate for the ‘unsure’ linesman to make the headlines with a ghastly offside decision.

Now, to the more interesting part.
Mark Clattenberg. Two red cards, some terrible decisions. Mr, Clattenburg was simply brandishing cards for fun, and to top it all off, he’s now being investigated for racial abuse against Mikel and Mata. It was just one of those games yet again, where the refereeing was the spotlight when it should not have been.
I’d rather see headlines full of Persie being able to score when he wants, or Juan Mata’s glorious free kick, but no, sadly for us football folk, we had to listen to more drama about rubbish decisions and how each manager was just riling up referees and players.


To compound all of this, there’s this little institution called the British Media. At this time, I would like to sincerely apologise for all the nonsense I give the Indian press. The Queens men, on that side are rather preposterous. To sell papers, those journalists will say and write anything.

Berate all foreigners yet protect their own kinds who perform the same way.
Tag them ‘divers’.
‘Take a racist comment and brand a Uruguayan a Racist’. Huge difference when context comes into the picture. Before you comment on how biased I may be, I do not defend his actions or the fact that he should have known the nature of the comment, but what the press did to him was unfair every respect.
Compare this to ‘Lion heart John Terry’. Captain. Legend.
An incident, involving to other ‘black’ elite sportsmen. The media backs off this time, because they can’t term their own racist, in fear of repercussions it would have on their society.

If the media brands players as ‘divers’ and ‘cheats’ there will be no respect. Media reactions always transcend to fans, players and nowadays even managers
On cheating. A few years ago, if a defender fouled an attacker, there would be this sheepish reaction, this sense of worry or fear of the decision!
Do you see that now? Didn’t think so…
Now you have a herd of defenders charging down a refs throat calling the ‘fouled’ a diver. Morality anybody?
Or has football like the British media, gone to the dogs too?

Referees are bound to succumb to pressure. It is human nature. The stronger ones survive where to rest cant. It’s simple. But not so…
So what next?
While we all dream of those bulging eyes and that ballsy attitude. Pierluiggi Collina, isn’t coming back.

So what options do we have?
1. Technology

The age old debate will continue, and we still won’t reach anywhere. That’s because there are two clear factions of thought, and neither seems to budge

2. Empower goal line referees

Let the men who are employed for ‘goal line’ decisions have a look at the game in the box. It’ll allow you multiple angles and allows for better decision making. Yes, it may delay the flow of the game, but isn’t that a reasonable price to pay?
All we need to do is create a hierarchy that allows the ‘goal line’ ref to make a call.

It’s about time, some manned up in this game.
Players need to stop loving the smell of grass. Referees need to grow a pair and make tough calls, not wince when players hound them and honestly revaluate this whole charade called the ‘Respect Campaign’

Whatever the decision maybe, I genuinely hope it managed to clear out the game a bit.
It’s about time I had a nice weekend where I enjoyed the football more than having to deal with rubbish concocted headlines borne from referee errors.

Get a grip!