Why Not Try Understanding The Rules Of Football Instead Of Criticising The Referee?
It’s possible that when Ice-T penned “Don’t hate the guy, hate the game” in 1999, he wasn’t referring to football. It would be helpful if someone authored his highly anticipated follow-up, “Don’t Hate the Referee, Hate the Law,” but 23 years later there is still no evidence of it.It appears a growing number of people paid to talk about the game don’t and can’t admit it when that is the case. To hate the laws of football, you must know what they are. The ideal example was Fikayo Tomori’s foul on Mason Mount and subsequent dismissal at San Siro on Tuesday.
Despite the same experts yelling at players for years to stay on their feet, Mount misled many into believing Tomori’s tug on his shoulder wasn’t a serious enough infraction. A red card is issued after the referee rightly calls it a foul. Tomori isn’t making an effort to play the ball.
A foul can still be committed even if there isn’t much aggression involved. Even if a foul is soft, it is still a foul. When Tomori might have slid through Mount’s back, taken player and ball, been significantly more dangerous, and potentially received a yellow card, the law is bizarre. Hate the law, not the referee
You hear crap like, “There was no intent – checks laws, can still be a foul; “there was contact – checks laws, doesn’t have to be a foul” so frequently. The peculiar thing about football’s rules is this. They are accessible for free reading. If you’d like, you can download a pdf from the Ifab website. It’s neither “every bit as good as Grisham,” nor is it a page-turner. Rest peacefully, Richard Osman and Lee Child.
It states on the opening page that “many situations are subjective and match officials are human, some choices will unavoidably be wrong or provoke disagreement and discussion.It’s debatable whether discussing controversial choices is “part of the game’s appeal.” Do viewers actually appreciate watching collisions in slow motion or listening to radio broadcasts and podcasts where the hosts scramble to figure out where the shoulder and arm meet? There is only so much time you have to analyse a football game; the more time you spend on it, the less time you have to analyse tactics, explain why that guy is unmarked at the far post, or just appreciate a gorgeous pass, turn, or volley.
It’s simpler to watch a judgement, disagree with it, and cry, “This is the Premier League, something needs to be done,” than it is to justify Pep’s inverted full-backs. Nothing seems to make sense, not even throwing a former referee into a temporary structure in the back and crossing to them for answers.
Errors do occur, and they must be discussed. The events that took place at the London Stadium last Sunday must still be affecting Fulham fans. However, no one acknowledges VAR when it corrects a mistake and is utilised correctly, as the facts say is the most of the time, in all the rage against it when it isn’t flawless.The ‘You Are The Ref’ feature could only have lasted for so long if we didn’t know all the laws, therefore pundits and fans can be excused for not knowing them all. I have no problem saying that I no longer understand the handball law. I just finished reading it. That is Ifab’s issue, not the fault of any particular referee. It’s in disarray.
Perhaps the dichotomous character of social media, where outspoken, uncompromising opinion is valued over all else, has resulted in the unwillingness to accept ignorance. You don’t get a thousand retweets for saying, “I’m not sure about it.”What, if any, results from all of this? Former professionals misinterpret the rules, criticise the referees, and social media accounts that ought to know better repeat these viewpoints and pose pointless queries like, “Was this offside?” Any rising sense of injustice over a choice gives rise to a variety of conspiracies. Given that he was born a little closer to [YOUR] club’s stadium, why has the PGMOL given him control of that match? There is obviously a hidden agenda against club.
All of this could be okay if it ended with paranoid internet football fans screaming into space, but the abuse level directed at top officials goes far beyond what is acceptable. After receiving internet death threats the previous year, Mike Dean was asked to withdraw from officiating a game.What about at the local level? Does the dialogue from the TV studio affect how officials at the bottom of the pyramid are treated on social media? That is difficult to measure. However, during an amateur game in Lancashire last week, a 24-year-old was detained on suspicion of seriously assaulting a referee. In an attack by a Platt Bridge player during a South Lancashire Counties league match against Wigan Rose, Dave Bradshaw suffered “serious injuries.”
In English grassroots football last year, 380 players and coaches were given suspensions for assaulting or threatening match officials. All games this weekend have been postponed by the Merseyside Youth Football League due to “several cases of improper and threatening behaviour” toward officials. No officials equals no football. For the purpose of enhancing their protection, the FA will test the use of body cameras for local referees. Amazingly depressing. Whatever the connection, those events need to concentrate the minds of all of us who are being paid to talk about football.No one should be exempt from criticism, but right now there isn’t enough emphasis placed on the reality that it’s an extremely demanding job and that mistakes will inevitably be made, whether at Old Trafford, Stockley Park, or on Hackney Marshes.
Before everything else, if we are going to accuse someone of committing a mistake, we should probably verify the rules and make sure it was a mistake to begin with.