Where to now?
Now that Fifa has at last made the momentous decision to introduce GLT (goal line technology), and it was a momentous decision as far as they were concerned, where do we go from here? And speaking of major decisions, I’ve even heard one commentator describe it as the most important event in the last 100 years of association football.
I’m not so sure it’s that big, but it definitely is a seismic shift by the “big-wigs” at the world controlling body. Let’s be serious, however, and put things in perspective.
What about the many people, including women and children, being killed in Syria every day?
What about the many hundreds, if not thousands, of people dying of starvation and hunger every day.
What about the many people who are having their homes washed away by severe weather conditions in the world daily? So is it that momentous?
My focus is on the referee’s and their predicament.
I haven’t heard or seen any of the logistics surrounding this new “phenomenen.” For example, how is it going to work? How are the referee’s going to be trained in the use of the various technologies associated with this new gadget? Is there anything in place at the moment or is it just another “pipe dream”?
I await with interest.
Regarding racism in football? I have said in a previous blog that racism should be condemned by all and sundry. It’s not necessary.
I’m refereeing to the John Terry case in London recently where he (John Terry) was charged in the courts with using a racist slur against Anton Ferdinand (brother of Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United) who plays for Queens Park Rangers.
There were television discussions on whether referees have any authority in this area. I have said many times that commentators, pundits and so-called experts haven’t a clue when it comes to the Laws of the Game.
Law 12 (fouls and misconduct) clearly states that “a player, substitute or substituted players is sent off the field of play (red card) for using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures.” And that includes anyone including players, spectators, referee’s or teammates.
So where’s the problem? If a referee hears the above he is duly obliged by the Laws of the Game to issue a red card. In this instance Chris Foy (the referee of the game) obviously didn’t hear anything untoward and therefore was powerless to act.
Another issue which is bothering me greatly is the amount of abuse – in verbal and gesture form – that referees are taking. This is totally unacceptable.
I blame the match officials themselves. They have the power to stop it. They have the authority under the LOTG to do something about it, but they won’t. In this area I don’t have much sympathy for them.
In 1993 Bryan Robson, the then England and Man Utd captain, called me a “f****ing cheat” in Ellis Park and I promptly dismissed him with a red card.
I had no hesitation that day and I would do the same again if I was in charge of a game tomorrow where a similar incident occurred.
Referee’s only have themselves to blame. They have the authority and power to deal with what can only be described as hooligan behaviour by over paid and over rated prima donnas, but they seem to step back for fear of some sort of “reprisal” from managers and spectators.
Therein lays the problem. Referees are not doing their job and until they do, players will continue to misbehave. We need to get back to basics and start enforcing the Laws of the Game.
Finally I would like to make a suggestion. Instead of saying NO TO RACISM, would it not be better to say YES TO EQUALITY? Just a thought.
Please keep your comments coming whether you agree or not with me.
Dr. Errol Sweeney