Ray King: Abuse
In today’s footballing climate more and more attention is focused on the referee. Referees have always been regarded as a prime target for criticism by spectators and have often been considered a figure of fun! One has frequently heard comments such as, “You must be blind ref!” or “Get a pair of glasses!” and these are just a couple of the more polite ones! The game itself has continued to increase in its world-wide appeal and cameras seemingly from every angle put tremendous scrutiny on every incident in a game. These incidents are shown time and time again on television.
During last week’s game between Queen’s Park Rangers and Chelsea, two consecutive fouls precipitated two of Chelsea’s players being sent off by referee Chris Hoy. Chelsea’s coach, Villas-Boas, castigated Foy and said his performance was poor, very poor. This was obviously a reflection of his team’s defeat and in no way summed up Foy’s overall performance.
My view of referees is quite simple. No matter how fit he is or how proficient he is, mistakes will be made. He is only human, after all. Referees can both win and lose matches just by making wrong decisions. That is however the nature of the game and of course both teams face this possibility throughout the match. Inevitably luck will always play its omnipresent hand.
Managers, coaches and players who consistently abuse the referee, both on and off the field, are a disgrace to the game and should be severely penalized. All the stakeholders must abide by the whistle and respect the decisions that are made whether those decisions are beneficial or not. A referee is a rare species and must be ‘protected’ as such.
‘Racism’ is a dirty word in any language. However, this form of abuse has been in existence throughout history. Sadly, I doubt if this situation will ever change – we will continue to make an issue of it whenever it happens and in whatever form it takes.
Perhaps we should just revert to the familiar ditty that, as children, we often used in retaliation: “Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me”.
Ray’s latest book “To the End of the Road” is available from www.amazon.com at £9.99 (not including p&p). It can also be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org at £9.99 (including p&p)