Referees – the unsung heroes in football

Without referees, football is nothing. Football is a game that cannot be self-regulated; it needs an unbiased official to help the game run smoothly. If they weren’t there every game would end up turning into a war.

Refereeing is probably the most unenvied job in football. Despite how good they are, the team that wins are likely to be the only team happy at the end, the majority of the time losing teams will feel they have reason to blame the referee for their mistake costing them the game. Throughout all the leagues in the country referees will make perfectly good decisions every week but will fail to please everyone. This is because despite how hard managers and players try to look at the game in an unbiased way they just can’t seem to do so and always will want the game to go their way.

By no means am I trying to say that referees are always right, everybody is human and everybody makes mistakes even referees. Unfortunately for referees when they make a mistake it is highlighted because it can have an effect on the outcome of the game, and at the top level it will always be shown repeatedly in a mediated package. Pundit’s after the game can slow down the incident; use an angle that the referee didn’t have and have time to think about what’s happened and what should happen next, for referees this is a split second decision which they only have one view of.

After the games finish on programmes like match of the day, managers come out and speak passionately about how the game went. Sometimes this leads to them speaking out of turn about the officials and how they feel that they got it wrong and that it might have been the catalyst for them losing the game. Saying things like this leads to managers getting fined and warned about their future conduct in post-match interviews. This to me seems so unfair as they are having a camera put in their face and a microphone to speak into when their emotions are still running high. I would love to see referees speak out about how they feel the match went and to explain how they saw a controversial decision and why they did what they did in the same way that managers are expected too. Referees play just as much a part of the game as the fans players and managers do so I don’t see why they should be treated differently.

But without them, football would never have taken off in the way that it has into a multi-billion pound industry. Referees aren’t just failed footballers, they are a key part of the game.

Calum Steel

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