Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Football can learn from rugby

What does it take to bring respect back to football referees? Commonly football crowds will chant abuse at referees. Commentators will take a close look at replays from several camera angles and then say the referee was definitely wrong. Managers often feel justified in saying that the referee's decisions were awful, and now Alex Ferguson is in the news for criticising Alan Wiley's fitness.

What Alex really means is that he doesn't like decisions going against his team. You just don't hear about managers complaining when they have won. If you only hear complaints from the losers then you have to feel that these complaints are biased and then you have to question everything that is said by managers. Managers, supporters and footballers alike are obviously biased. Commentators appear unbiased but their search for the truth makes them forget that referees are fallible. I find it hard to distinguish the detailed explanation of errors from the referees from the abusive chants from the supporters or the high profile complaints of managers.

What it means is that we get Sunday footballers and even children who don't think twice about abusing referees. The answer is simple. Praise the good decisions and don't allow adverse criticism. The referee is always right in rugby and nobody complains.


  1. A colleague is a fervent Wigan Warriors supporter. He claims since the "super league" 1has been covered by SKY that WW no longer get the ref's decision. Supporteres have had scanners tuning into the ref's frequency..and many a time decisions are given againsty Wigan to encourage competition. Prior to Sky covering "super league" Wigan were far and away the best team. Perhaps fair refs is a better answer?

  2. As Mandy Rice-Davies would say "well he would say that wouldn't he". I used to play rugby and the wind always changed direction against us at half time, amazingly the slope was always against us too and so was the referee but we always did what he said with no dissent.