By Walter Broeckx
When good (ex-)referees speak it is sometimes wise to listen. And sometimes you can learn something from their words.
But having been a top ref doesn’t necessary means that you got the answer to the questions. Because when you have been a top referee you look at it from your point of view. And no matter how good or relevant this point of view is, it still is only one side of the story.
In football there are many points of view. The team’s view. The ref’s view. The media view. And maybe the most important side of the story: the people without whom football would be gone in a minute: the supporters’ point of view.
Now we could all call our viewpoint the most important one. But in fact all 4 sides of the story have to be in balance before you can make everybody satisfied. Because ignoring one side will lead to that side stopping what it is doing, and ultimately pulling out of football.
If we kill the referees each week as Collina said in his interview we would be without referees and without referees there would be no game. Unless you think that the players would still play it following the rules when there is no ref on the field? They cant even play it according to the rules when there is a ref on the field.
The less important side is the media side. I know they are the most important element when it comes to generating money. But would we supporters suffer much when the players would only earn £10.000 a week and not the £100.000 the get now? Would Messi be less attractive when he earns less? No, Messi still would be the same player. Just earning less money. So the media and their money could be removed from much of the game. When reading the Untold Media Watch I really think they wouldn’t be missed at all.
At the same meeting Mr. Elleray claimed that 98% of offside decisions are corect. Which this season is not correct. But I will not go in to this anymore as I have already written about that.
When Mr. Collina spoke, it was informative. One of the things we have to consider is that we cannot buy referees at the supermarket. “You cannot find referees in the corner of the street.”
And Mr. Elleray also said some wise things: “We need years to build up referees and one second to destroy them. To keep them we need to protect them.”
So the main thought is that we should protect referees. A very good thought and I like it very much. So a big round of applause for this.
But last Wednesday the FA said that goal line technology would not be used next season. And the reason for this is that the system is not ready. Now I’m not a technician or an engineer and I don’t know how such systems would work but this really is leaving me speechless. In tennis they can see if a small ball flying at 100mph was in or out in seconds. In football with a bigger ball flying at a lower speed this seems impossible? Yeah, sure sounds reasonable doesn’t it?
And then we come to the part where I think Collina shows that he is… well… not really is being the smartest in town. He said about the goal line technology: “”I think the goal-line can be easily controlled by two additional assistant referees”.
And then the article from the BBC continues with: “Extra officials, who stand behind the goals, have been tested over the last two years, initially in the Europa League and then the Champions League. They have been criticised in some quarters for failing to spot other incidents inside the penalty area.
Collina admitted mistakes had been made, but said these were by referees who had ignored the advice of their assistants”
And where it all goes wrong is in the last sentence. Collina wants the refs to be less criticised because : no more refs, no more football. Okay fine.
But on the other hand he refuses the aid of goal line technology. No, he wants more refs around the field. And he knows that even with those extra referees mistakes are still being made. Because of the fact that refs don’t listen to the advice of their assistants. For whatever reason.
Now, Mr. Collina, doesn’t this sounds like criticising the refs? And we should be careful with that and stop it because otherwise the refs would stop. And how could you avoid heavy criticism of the refs for a part? Well, maybe by making it clear that some decisions will be made by a computer? Did the ball cross the goal line or not? The computer will tell it and not the ref. So no need for players to run after the ref to dispute the ball crossing the line or not.
No the ref would have nothing to do with that because the computer will decide this for him. In fact just look at the way tennis was played before the hawkeye was used. We all know how John McEnroe had discussions with the umpires. Nowadays with the Hawkeye the player just nods at the ref to ask a review, the big screen starts the animation and the players get on with the game without discussion. And the refs don’t get any abuse anymore for calls about the ball being out or not.
So Mr. Collina if you want the referees to be less in the line of fire you should use every bit of help you can get. Use what is at your disposal in technology and then people can criticise the computer if they want but they don’t have to shout abuse towards the ref. Avoid the possibility for referees to make mistakes. That should be the aim we all should support. If it needs technology then use it.
But if you refuse to reach out for a complete change and if you keep refusing to use technology to help the refs then the only thing that we supporters have left if we see a wrong call…is to criticise the ref. And wasn’t this exactly what you wanted to avoid? Well you just leave us with no choice.
- Arsène Wenger: Mr Wenger is worth between £100m and £400m to Arsenal
- HISTORY: A complete re-write of Arsenal’s 1st year. Part one, part two.
- MEDIA: Coverage of Tottenham v Arsenal
- REFEREES: Who has the correct figures? Mr Elleray or Untold
- STADIA: Arsenal’s foresight leaves others drifting backwards
- REF REVIEW: Man City 2 Everton 0
- INJURIES: A quick look at the injurnationals
- NEWS: Arsenal Ladies win treble, and now go for the Champions League; reserves making good progress
- PLAYERS: Who will be back at the back
- REFEREES: The Untold Ref Review: Tottenham v Arsenal
- ECONOMICS: Could it be that Swiss Ramble has made a mistake?
Untold Arsenal – the (fairly) complete index
- Untold History…Untold Media … Untold Ref Reviews …
- Untold Economics … Untold Corruption … Untold Wenger …
- Untold News … Untold Fifa … Untold Players … Untold Injuries
- Untold Statistics … Untold Tactics … Untold 2011/2 …
- Untold match reviews … Untold fans …
- Untold Stadia … Untold Literature …
- Untold humour …Arsenal History Society … “Making the Arsenal” …
- Untold Emirates … Arsenal Independent Supporters Association