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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

'The referees a.... !!!!!'

Anyone who has been to a football match will know how that chant ends, and it is becoming much more regular at football matches for a referee to be in the centre of controversy, more so than ever before.

But is the chanting of 'you don`t know what your doing` justified? Based on the quality of refereeing I`ve seen this season yes indeed. I had my own words to describe the referee`s over the last season but the Vital Network would have some exceptions.

Perhaps the most detrimental change in refereeing is that they have all seemed to forget that football is indeed a contact sport, and when challenging for a ball in a major league game, there will be times that people will bump heads. Its logic rather than anything else.

In the old days of English football if a no nonsense defender made a fantastic tackle on someone they would get up and play on, after all the defender got the ball and that`s that. Today the reaction is somewhat different as the player tackled would probably fall over and cry, with one eye looking over to the referee of course.

Why doesn`t the referee just say 'get up and play on`? After all half the players on that pitch earn more in a year than the average Joe Bloggs earns in a lifetime and this isn`t the under 10`s, these are professional players who are supposed to wear the shirt with pride, having a little tantrum because someone pulled your shirt is quite sad really.

Perhaps the change of attitudes has come from the change of players? Or more importantly the influx of foreign imports? Sure it`s an easy target to place our blame upon, but when did you ever see Terry Butcher fall over in a heap over being tapped on the shoulder?

Though with that in mind Terry Butcher could get hit by a car and still get up, the car being left in a much worse predicament of course.

Watching world cup football and watching the Champions league is like watching Bambi on ice, so much so that if you are ever with a group of friends watching one of these matches, get yourself some Vodka shots and take one shot for every time an overpaid Brazilian falls over. I guarantee you won`t even know who`s playing after about half an hour.

Perhaps these overpaid simpletons would get up if the referee ignored them for long enough, but that would be considered 'bullying` of course, so the referee stops the game and runs over in a panic.

This seems to work though because the referee`s whistle has become the greatest healer of all time, a player who is on the floor holding his leg in agony seems to be cured and up and running as soon as the referee blows his whistle and goes over.

Maybe it`s a miracle whistle or the Peruvian referee has special powers, maybe the players leg became unbroken in a split second? Or we can stay in the realms of common sense and say that no good disgrace faked an injury.

What does the referee do about this? Realise that the player is simply a cheat and do the right and honourable thing by giving the opposition the ball? Well he does actually, though the only difference is that if the ball is just outside the box when he did it they decide that the best place to re take it is a goal kick!

Good tackles used to be met with applause, and the player tackled would get up and play on like a good sport and try and tackle that other player back, aerial challenges from players who were willing to fight for the shirt and the badge that they were playing for, and you knew that those 11 players would go in for every ball and every challenge fully fledged…

You would also know that the referee`s would let the game flow and respect the commitment of the professionals on that pitch. But when you replace those sorts of players with European and South American imports, who`s main goal is to play defensive football and continually stop and start, you get teams full of pop stars prancing around like a bunch of tools.

And after a while enough people cry about enough tackles, and you have a new culture of dramatics destroying the beautiful game.

If we wanted to watch a load of pop stars run round and throw themselves on the floor we would go to the theatre, watch 'Britain`s got talent` or if its on, watch the England national team.




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The Journalist

Writer: Red Army Comrade Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday July 18 2010

Time: 11:19AM

Your Comments

Thank you Red army comrade and don't be surprised with the follow up that I have in mind. For me the referees are either blind, deaf or dumb. Blind in that the whole world will see a foul or goalmouth incident but the Referee won't. Deaf because some tackles can be heard in the next town but not by the Referee who is standing next to the victim, broken leg and all. Dumb because when he sees a blatant piece of skullduggery he would rather cause a riot and ignore it. The alternative is not something that I wish to contemplate. That they are doing as instructed by the authorities.
SFC Forever
Yes SFC Forever you're quite right in suggesting the Refereeing authorities are no longer in control of how the rules of the game are interpreted. The fact that referees are now professional means that they look to the controllers of their livelihood to set out how they should behave. Any free-thinking is unlikely as it could result in the termination of their contract. In The Premiership everyone has their snouts in the trough and the effect is that this control has filtered down through the divisions under the pretext of consistent interpretation of the rules. Fans should be petitioning The Premiership, The Football League and the Refereeing Authorities to clean up the game. It's not about the meaningless posturing surrounding new technologies but giving back real refereeing powers to the people on the pitch with the whistle. If there is shirt pulling in the penalty area, the attacker gives away a free-kick and a defender a penalty. If referees give 10 penalties in a game...so be it. Ten trips in the penalty area would be treated the same so why not shirt pulling. The message would get through to players very quickly that referee are no longer concerned what players think to be acceptable (through training) in the modern game. The rules of football aren't made on the training ground! All players should be made to abide by the rules as they are written. I don't think referees are generally blind but simply handcuffed.
mox888
Sometimes the offense or incident is so obvious it makes me feel that the referee simply has no balls. No backbone to carry out his duty correctly.
stellarnw
There has to have been some directive to referees not to give penalties for shirt pulling at corners. Everyone but everyone can see it happening...to all fans it is NOT acceptable. The rule book has been written...the rules MUST be implemented. If there is a qualified referee reading this please explain why some rules are being ignored.
mox888
Sounds terrible but I could imagine the majority of fans if asked would agree. someone somewhere is stopping the referees from doing there job properly. With all the fuss about showing respect last season i wonder if the two things are related. Possibly the worst ever year for refereeing and the respect campaign at the same time. It is as if the lawmakers knew what they were about to unleash on us and were preparing the respect campaign as a safeguard.
sfc4ghg
Reading between the lines it appears to me that nobody has any time for the refs. Maybe we need hawkeye and extra officials to maintain good order.
SFC Forever
Does not matter what we use to help the referee if he hasn't the bottle to award a penalty, goal, or simply book or send off a player when supposed to by the letter of the law.
VS sparkle
Hawkeye and extra officials is like trying to polish a dog turd, another problem is that referee's are not lenient on well executed tackles, if someone goes in with a tackle and wins the ball fairly... then you play on.. but you get these players who decide to fall over and cry foul when the tackle was perfectly legit, so people are afraid to make a strong tackle.
Red army comrade
 

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