Some final thoughts
By Walter Broeckx, The Untold ref who will come back next season!
My ref reviews have attracted a lot of interest and so did many of the articles I wrote about refs. The discussion after such articles was a big joy for me. Even the comments of people who didn’t agree with my views. Because their view is maybe even more important than the agreement I mostly got from most of the readers.
Because I try to question myself each time I start a review and also when the review is done I question myself and ask myself if I can look in the mirror and be happy with the person I see. It is an attitude I have made my own from the moment I became a ref. And sometimes I wasn’t happy when I looked in the mirror. But in fact those where the moments that spurred me on to do better. The moments that made me sharper. But most of the time I can look in the mirror after my game and say to myself: I have done all I could to apply the laws of the game and been fair to both teams. And when you can say that as a ref you have done all you can.
I have made mistakes and I will make mistakes but I will never allow myself now or in the future to being biased when I am being a ref on my field. I will protect the players on my field as much as I can. I am fully aware of the responsibility I have as a ref and this is the same for a non-competitive game of youth teams to any other game in a league form. In fact each game should be treated like it is the FA Cup final when you start the game as a ref.
When we had a nice conversation on Sunday before the game against Aston Villa when speaking with Tony, Dogface and Laundryender I said “I don’t want Arsenal to win because of a bias/mistake/wrong call from the ref.”
As a supporter I will take the victory, of course.
But as a person who loves football, who loves sport and sportsmanship I will not enjoy it. I will not enjoy it like I can enjoy a win where the ref has not done something wrong, be it in favour of Arsenal or in favour of the other team. To give an example I really didn’t enjoy our home win against Fulham. Our second goal should have been disallowed for offside. At first I jumped around in joy because I didn’t see the offside and the way Nasri danced in the penalty area was like a miracle. But when I saw the replay and noticed the offside I hoped we would score another goal. We didn’t and I still cant get over excited about that win.
Now the dust has settled and we can feel badly treated by the refs for the many lost points due to their bad decisions (for whatever reason) I think it is time to have another look at things and with an eye to the future.
When I started these refs reviews one of the initials things was to see if the refs made many mistakes. And to see if it would even out at the end of the season. It clearly didn’t for Arsenal.
So the long hours I spend when reviewing the games (and sometimes it was painful to see us lose the game again) is not over yet. Because the ultimate goal is to make the game more fair to all the teams. Like I said I don’t want us to win on bad decisions, but I certainly don’t want us to lose on bad decisions.
So I will continue to do my ref reviews next season. I will try to point out the refs’ mistakes like this season. We will add more data to our database. We will be looking even more in details to some things. And I will do this with just one goal in front of me: to avoid wrong decisions as much as possible on the football field. I don’t do these reviews to murder refs. I do these reviews in the hope that people will realise that something need to be done. That there should come a form of immediate justice. So that unlike when I came to London to see a game that when I went home I knew even before leaving the stadium for 100% sure that we had been badly treated by the refs.
I don’t like coming over to see us lose on bad ref decisions. If the other team beats us fair and square so be it. But travelling hundreds of miles to see bad decisions costing us the game is something that I don’t want to see happening. So if my work might contribute to a change in mind of the people who hold the power and who want a clean and fair football on the field I will have done my job. In fact I would be out of my job of the ref reviews.
But until that day comes and I really hope the day of immediate video evidence will come to rectify mistakes from the ref on the field, I will continue with the only weapons I have against bad calls from referees: my computer, my TV, my remote control and my keyboard.
My interest is not to blame the refs, my interest is to make sure that when we go home we will know that the ref did his best and that the major decisions when it comes to goals and penalties have been the correct decisions. That is what matters most for me.
So the season is over. We have been badly hit by many bad referee decisions. I can only hope that next season will be a better one when it comes to this. And the refs can be sure about one thing: I will be watching you. Until the rules have been changed and I don’t have to watch you any more and I can become back what I want to be most: a football supporter.
The End of Season referee’s review….