Referees are There to Protect Everyone in Every Game
My colleague and caretaker of this website, Bob Kellett, recently wrote an interesting piece entitled “Referees vs. The Devil”. Interesting timing in light of yesterday’s supposedly satanic date.
The devil he was referring to is the brainchild of FIFA President Sepp Blatter who believes that the insidious elbow is bringing our beloved football into disrepute. It’s the kind of thing that makes me wonder just how much Blatter really understands about the game.
Sure, the occasional stray elbow does sometimes find its way into an opponent’s face, but is this really the most pressing matter for referees to deal with? And hasn’t it already been made clear that referees are supposed to pay special attention to simulation (i.e. diving) this time around. And what about time-wasting and shirt-pulling?
Now this morning I read that FIFA World Player of the Year, Ronaldinho, wants refs to protect him and his teammates – the tournament favorites known for their creativity and stylish play – from those who would seek to injure the Brazilians. And while it might seem a little arrogant to make such a request, I think he makes a good point, sort of.
No true fan of the game wants to see anyone get seriously injured at this year’s tournament and to a certain extent it is up to the referee’s to protect the players – all of the players no matter who they are. This is why, unlike Blatter, I’m not so concerned about the devil (elbows), but rather, reckless or dangerous challenges.
I, for one, hope that the referees let the players play, but at the same time that they crack down rather firmly when it becomes necessary to caution or even send off players. This tournament is an exhibition after all, and all of us want to see great football with plenty of offense. When it’s over there will be a champion, but more importantly, all of the participants will have a very short break (if they even get one at all) before returning to play professionally for the clubs that pay their salaries.
And even though I’m sure the world’s top referees know this, I hope that they do their best to not only protect the safety of every player involved, but also to protect the integrity of every match. Unlike Blatter, I don’t believe that the refs should try to protect only the best players in the best matches – whatever the hell that means. That’s like asking the referees to play favorites and that’s not what we do. We’re there to protect everyone equally…and Blatter should already know that.
What he really should be asking the referees is to ensure that the players’ safety is of paramount importance. Or perhaps maybe he really just shouldn’t say anything to the referees at all. I’m sure they already know what their job is. That’s why they’re there.
Until next time…
Your comments are spot on. There are three things referees owe the game:
1.Referee to referee consistency from one game to the next.
2.Consistency within a game from the first to the last minute by the referee.
3.Game to game consistency by the same referee team.
Protecting the players should be
parmount for regardless of player ability or status.
It is inexcusable at the FIFA world cup level for linesmen to miss an offside call. Either they are out of position due to
poor anticipation or they are watching the ball instead of the second to the last defender and have a narrow (myopic) view of the play.
I am a former USSF college referee and I am appalled at some of the officiating already, having watched every game so far.
Keep up the good work !!!!!
Posted from United States
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