It’s always being said, ‘I wouldn’t want to be a referee’. The campaigns aren’t making too much of a difference and every week a Premier League manager has something to say on the referee that just officiated in their match. Yes, the FA steps in if the feel the comments were overboard but is this the right way about it? Sometimes it’s obvious to everyone that a mistake was made and trying to hide this does not always help the referee.
Everyone makes mistakes. Players miss sitters and get sent off, managers choose the wrong tactics and select the wrong players yet when a referee doesn’t spot something that has happened out of the corner of his eye there is uproar. I myself am a referee and I have experienced this myself. No referee has ever been, or ever will be perfect in the same way no one at all will ever be perfect. So why is their such a burden thrust upon the most important person on the pitch?
Last week we saw two incidents, David Luiz against Newcastle which deserved a red card and Gary Cahill against Tottenham that did not. Yet the referee’s got them the wrong way round and Cahill was given his marching orders while David Luiz stayed on and Chelsea got the victory they were after. The FA publicly supported the decisions of the referee’s, yet they did not give Stuart Attwell a Premier League game this weekend and instead was a 4th official in the game between Norwich and Newcastle. Was this a punishment for Attwell’s decision last weekend? Or just one of those things?
We don’t know but by doing this the FA has sparked some controversy with a referee that has already previously received criticism. Personally, I believe if a referee had a conference afterwards and was to say yes I made a mistake they would get a lot more respect than what they get at the moment. Consistency is a word mentioned alot in football but it is far to expect a perfect performance each week from a referee when not even the best teams in the world can achieve perfection on a weekly basis.
It is often said that football needs to go the way of rugby, with the referee’s ultimately standing for no hassle and getting the respect of every player on the pitch. Of course this respect is sometimes broken but it is met with immediate punishment of the sin bin. This cannot happen in football with a click of the fingers by the national governing body, time and effort is the only way to achieve their ultimate goal but at times it doesn’t seem like the FA can be bothered with the process of it all.
They need to make a decision, either they be more understanding and lenient, let the referee’s have press conferences and more media focus to try and gain the respect that is needed. The other way is the complete opposite, they clamp down and they do it hard. Swift punishments for managers and players that criticise, introduce a sin bin and do whatever necessary. The FA needs to not be afraid of immediate issues and focus on the long term goal. Sacrifices are necessary.
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