South-Africa

Refs need to stand up to cheaters

2018-03-25 06:04
Errol Sweeney (Supplied)

Johannesburg - I don’t know why I continue to be surprised by the level of deception and blatant cheating that is going in football. The spirit of the game has all but been eroded, and a winning mentality seems to be the order of the day.

Even with so much TV coverage, with cameras at every angle and vantage point, the intention to hoodwink the referee seems to know no bounds.

The players and managers are responsible for this decline in moral and sporting standards. However, it’s the referees who are to blame for allowing it to happen.

It’s the referees’ job to make sure such law-breaking does not go unpunished. It’s our job to “police” the activities of players and managers to ensure a game is controlled and managed according to the Fifa Laws of the Game.

At the end of the day, we are supposed to be the guardians of the game. But, sadly, I have to say that we are not that any more.

Our referees, especially at the top levels of the sport, appear unable, unwilling, or incapable of carrying out their duties in accordance with their instructions. And even with so many cameras focused on the game, we still can’t get it right.

There will be those who will say that the ref hasn’t got eyes in the back of his head. That’s true, but he has two assistant referees and a fourth official. They are “miked” up with earpieces. Can none of them see the shenanigans going on right in front of their collective noses?

It may seem at this point that I’m having a go at my former colleagues. You’re damn right I am.

Why can’t they see there is cheating and diving and deception going on in front of them? Why are they not taking action, or are they deliberately turning a blind eye?

I honestly believe that some referees are scared of certain high-profile players and clubs. If that is the case, they shouldn’t be refereeing.

It’s not a profession for the faint-hearted. But if you’re going to embark on a “career” in refereeing, you need to be aware of the trials and tribulations to come, and you must learn to deal with whatever a game throws at you. You can’t be prepared for every incident, but, through experience and having a lot of games under your belt, the art of officiating can be mastered.

Laws of the Game – law 12: fouls and misconduct (continued)

If, when the ball is in play, a player commits an offence against a match official or an opposing player, substitute, substituted or sent off player, or team official outside the field of play; or a substitute, substituted or sent-off player or team official commits an offence against, or interferes with an opposing player or match official outside the field of play, play is restarted with a free kick on the boundary line nearest to where the offence/interference occurred; a penalty kick is awarded if this is a direct free-kick offence within the offender’s penalty area.

If a player standing on or off the field of play throws an object (including the ball) at an opposing player, substitute, substituted or sent-off player, or team official, match official or the ball, play is restarted with a direct free kick from the position where the object struck or would have struck the person or the ball.

If this position is off the field of play, the free kick is taken on the nearest point on the boundary line; a penalty kick is awarded if this is within the offenders’ penalty area.

If a substitute, substituted or sent-off player, player temporarily off the field of play or team official throws or kicks an object onto the field of play and it interferes with play, an opponent or match official, play is restarted with a direct free kick (or penalty kick) where the object interfered with play or struck or would have struck the opponent, match official or the ball.

This concludes law 12.

Happy whistling!

sports@citypress.co.za

Follow me on Twitter @dr_errol

Read more on:    soccer
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