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Referees and Football's Blame Culture

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Bloody hell, journalists make the easiest money. 

Why do referees get so much scrutiny and why is every decision they make then subject to analysis with a fine tooth comb? It’s simple. We, the viewers of Football, whether it’s on TV live or courtesy of highlights or on a dodgy Ghanaian stream, can watch almost every potential controversial incident over and over and over again thanks to multiple cameras positioned within the ground providing replays of decisions.

The referee, in the articles case, Mike Dean, and his assistants, had to make a decision based upon seeing the incident in real-time, at full pace and having seen the incident once. We’re blessed as Football fans, Football is great to watch on TV. There’s multiple cameras and camera angles and every decision can be and often is, replayed, within seconds of the incident so we can see what the decision should be. The referee can’t and that’s totally absurd. The one man who needs to see these incidents the most, can’t, and as a result, gets this “explosion” of vitriol and hate from a small proportion of a club’s fan base. 

You also have to counter in social media. Even as recent as 15 years ago, social media wasn’t really a thing and now it is and it gives a platform to pretty much everyone as the Internet is as commonly attainable as water and that, therefore, gives a voice to everyone, both good and bad. However it’s the “bad”, the ones who tweet death threats, personal abuse and hate that get the attention from the media and the public. 

The arrival of VAR in the Premier League should suffocate this a bit, however, there will always be someone abusing the referee for doing their job. 

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I never moan about referees. On the weekend even though we got a decision go against us I said we have had others go our way. On this forum I have repeatedly said they have a very hard job and football fans expect to much. That's not to say it isn't right to want the standards to be higher. But you can only expect so much of a human being. For me there needs to be more respect like in rugby. The man in charge has to be respected

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There is certainly a blame culture. There's a video on Youtube with well over a million views about how Chelsea were denied 6 'clear' penalties against Barca, with replays. Replays that show that at least 3 of those 'penalties' were clear dives/non events, 2 were iffy, but certainly givable and only 1 was stonewall. 

But people love a villain and they love to feel cheated when they lose.

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5 minutes ago, Devil-Dick Willie said:

There is certainly a blame culture. There's a video on Youtube with well over a million views about how Chelsea were denied 6 'clear' penalties against Barca, with replays. Replays that show that at least 3 of those 'penalties' were clear dives/non events, 2 were iffy, but certainly givable and only 1 was stonewall. 

But people love a villain and they love to feel cheated when they lose.

The Pique Handball, Toure pulling Drogba's kit, and Eto'o handball were nailed on penalties. 

The only 'iffy' one was Malouda's. The only people against it, or those that don't believe in the continuation law when a foul outside of the box finishes inside the box. To which it is still a penalty. 

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1 minute ago, Cicero said:

The Pique Handball, Toure pulling Drogba's kit, and Eto'o handball were hands down penalties. 

The only 'iffy' one was Malouda's. The only people against it, or those that don't believe in the continuation law when a foul outside of the box finishes inside the box. To which it is still a penalty. 

Maloudas is clearly not a penalty. He bumps the ball past Alves but then runs straight into him. Alves can't vanish and has every right to stand his ground. An attacker running into a defender isn't a foul. And they had hands on each other.

A slight tug on the shirt that's no where near enough for a player to go down is almost never given. So no complaints about it not getting given, especially when it's drogba. 

Pique handball is criminal. Eto'o hand ball is a pen, but because it's so close to his body and his back is turning the ref gets it wrong.

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6 minutes ago, Devil-Dick Willie said:

Maloudas is clearly not a penalty. He bumps the ball past Alves but then runs straight into him. Alves can't vanish and has every right to stand his ground. An attacker running into a defender isn't a foul. And they had hands on each other.

A slight tug on the shirt that's no where near enough for a player to go down is almost never given. So no complaints about it not getting given, especially when it's drogba. 

Pique handball is criminal. Eto'o hand ball is a pen, but because it's so close to his body and his back is turning the ref gets it wrong.

Is this based on your opinion, or the laws of the game? Actual laws of the game have all 4 as being penalties. 

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This has been discussed to death and I think more is made of it than is necessary. Managers who blame referees for stuff do so in the heat of the moment, and this is a slight problem I suppose because you could argue public criticism of referees leads to fans thinking actual abuse of referees (and by that I mean actual abuse, not slating officials on Twitter which isn't abuse). People who make YouTube videos about refereeing conspiracy theories are generally unhinged and this is an absolute non event as far as I'm concerned.

I sympathise with referees even though I complain about them a lot. I think we all appreciate by now that they have a difficult job because that fact gets rammed down our throat as if we don't know it from the last million times it's been mentioned prior to anybody on television or radio questioning a decision. 

However, there are a litany of problems in football surrounding referees that don't exist in other sports and some of which are quite easy to sort out:

1. Inconsistent decisions. Partially the fault of referees, but the real problem is how complicated and unclear the rules are in an age where replays allow you to analyse an incident down to the nth degree. I get more confused with each passing week by what is or isn't a penalty, a foul, a straight red. When you have past referees giving contrary interpretations of the same incident in the media, showing that even the trained officials don't fully understand the rules, you know you have a problem. I'm not having that there's any benefit to this phenomenon as any random element outside of skill and performance that can decide a sporting event makes it less of a sporting event, simple as that. Also linked to this is how many controversial decisions come from VAR. If referees still can't be consistent with that extra technology it's evidence that you need to clear up the rules or improve the officials' understanding of the rules.

2. Referee abuse. A lot of people think criticising referees in public contributes to this. I personally disagree and think that the real problem here is players and sometimes managers being allowed to get right in the face of officials with impunity. If you have to bring in a new rule that says getting in the referees face or swearing once at an official gets you a straight red and a three match ban the problem will be solved two weeks into the new season, if the first referee to have four players in his face sends all four of them off the players will get the message pretty fucking fast and if they think it's unfair, should have read the rules.

3. Transparency. If you can sort out the issue of players being aggressive and using foul language, which can be done easily, you could possibly try and get a microphone on the referee to explain his decision. This is probably a pipe dream given the amount of vitriol spewed by football crowds even if you do sort the players out, so even publishing referee notes on major incidents, or something, would help the fans relate to referees and stop seeing them as some sort of hate figure.

In summary, I don't have a massive problem with managers and pundits discussing refereeing decisions they disagree with if it's done in a respectful manner, I don't think social media cry arsing or YouTube conspiracy videos actually matter in any way, and the best way to solve the problems with officiating modern football is to make the rules more clear to reduce the amount of interpretation affecting major decisions and therefore results of football matches leading to resentment and abuse towards referees.

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You see it everywhere, and it’s a cycle. Every few years people start waffling on about the quality of refereeing when they most likely have no idea how to referee a game. Television doesn’t help and people being easily led doesn’t either, all of a sudden everyone’s an expert and we apparently have no good referees in this country (which is nonsense).

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2 hours ago, Cicero said:

Is this based on your opinion, or the laws of the game? Actual laws of the game have all 4 as being penalties. 

You're wrong. Laws of the game 2 are penalties and 2 aren't. Running at a static defender and falling over isn't a foul and hopefully never will be. Drogba trowing himself to the ground because a guy touches his shirt is also not a penalty. The 2 hand balls are pens tho

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12 hours ago, Devil-Dick Willie said:

You're wrong. Laws of the game 2 are penalties and 2 aren't. Running at a static defender and falling over isn't a foul and hopefully never will be. Drogba trowing himself to the ground because a guy touches his shirt is also not a penalty. The 2 hand balls are pens tho

Yup. Your opinion confirmed. 

Clear obstruction on Malouda from Alves. Started out of the box but finished inside the box, thus being a continuation foul, thus being a penalty. 

Doesnt matter if Drogba drove. There was clear pulling on his kit. Laws of the game states any pulling of the kit results in a foul, even inside the box. We've seen it given hundreds of times. 

  • Haha 1

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