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August 2021

How Uefa officials get a buzz out of punishing managers

By Tony Attwood

Manuel Pellegrini said a load of stuff about Jonas Eriksson the referee of the Man City match wherein they were defeated by Barce.

Now the almighty Uefa is looking into the situation, and there is a fair chance that there will be a charge brought against him.   If there is and he is found guilty Pellegrini could be warned, fined or given a ban.

And we all know about bans.  Mr Wenger had a ban, and then was banned again for sending a message down to his assistants on the bench while he was banned.  There is nothing in the rules to say that his offence was an offence, but he was banned again anyway.  That all happened back in 2011.   Mr Wenger was banned for sending messages, appealed, then won a stay of execution, and then…  actually I can’t remember how it all ended, it was all so stupid and pathetic on the part of Uefa.

In this case what the Man City boss said was something like, “From the beginning I felt the referee was not impartial to both teams. The referee decided the game. He favoured Barcelona from the beginning to the end. I think it was not a good idea to put a referee from Sweden in charge and a referee who made a mistake against Barcelona in the group stages. I think there is more important football in Europe than Sweden.”

The game in question in that quote was the quarter-final between Mail and Barcelona where Pep Guardiola spoke negatively about two penalties the same ref failed to award his side.

But why the ban or fine or warning?  What’s the point?

First, it can’t be because it helps keep the crime of saying something negative about a ref under control.  There has been no decline in comments about refs as a result of fines and bans.   Managers keep talking.

Second, it can’t be to show that Uefa is in control.  The issue over Arsene Wenger’s bans made Uefa a laughing stock, as do many of the decisions that referees make.  Uefa has precious little credibility, not because of this in particular but because of its unwillingness to deal seriously with racism in grounds.

Third, it can’t be because the comments by the managers actually reduce public belief in the lack of bias by referees in Europe, because there isn’t any belief in refs in the first place.  Remember Robin van Persie’s sending off?  Did anyone believe in the lack of bias by refs after that?

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So what is it that keeps this banning process going?

Actually it reminds me of the issue of why teachers punish pupils and students in schools in England.  Until a few years ago they used to be able to assault the pupils and students if they believed that the kids had done something wrong.  Now they are encouraged by the Secretary of State for Education in England to give the kids lines to copy out, or to have to stay on after school in detention, or pick up litter, or whatever the teacher fancies.

Such action never does anything to help – the pupils and students who get detentions or other punishments continue to get such punishments.  The punishments don’t stop the behaviour that the teachers object to and doesn’t make rowdy young people into quite and docile students.

But a lot of research has gone on into why, despite its failure to achieve much, some teachers love to dish out punishments.  And the answer is that it makes the teacher feel good.  Perhaps not for long – but like that first slug of alcohol for a person who rather likes a drink, it makes the individual feel good – just for a little while.

Some teachers, the research shows (and this is research that goes right back to the 1930s with BF Skinner – it is not recent research), get off on dishing out punishment.  (Of course it is not just teachers, it is true across the whole population.  We just tend to notice it more with teachers because the punishment involves children).

So it is the same, I suspect, with Uefa.  Their officials get high on punishing the powerful managers and wealthy high-profile players

It doesn’t do any good for the game, but it makes the guys at Uefa feel good.

Which for me is as good a reason to abandon the approach as any.


14 comments to How Uefa officials get a buzz out of punishing managers

  • Harry Barracuda

    Yes, but he is a cock for insulting Swedish referees and Swedish football.

    As Pardew rightly said, the “Fucking Old Cunt!”.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I agree that bringing up the nationality of the ref was a stupid thing to do from Pellegrini. As if there cannot be good refs from Sweden. Maybe in Luxemburg there is a ref that might be the best in the world but as the league in Luxemburg is unknown and unloved nobody might know this ref.

  • Mick

    Very good article on Daily Cannon/LadyArse today.

  • Delford Magaya

    Fifa should not only charge the coaches, if a refree does something wrong, why not panish him like the coaches, ban them and fined them. Refrees are protected even if they are wrong, Fifa always protect the referees, the law is not fair, the way I have observed it for so many years. The referee are incharge of the game and they should be monitored like anyone who is involved in football. Refrees get away after making other teams seffer and nothing is being done about it why? the teams that suffer because of the error of the refree are not compansated at all, but coaches are banned for blaming refrees. The governing board should do something about this. Refrees tend to get away with serous mistakes.

  • Mick

    It really is amazing how keen Uefa are to flex their muscles with these relatively minor infractions but so lethargic, one could almost say reluctant, to get to grips with the racist issue, which begs the question are the policy making members of said Association themselves racist.

  • ARSENAL 13

    UEFA are like those spoiled children, Who shout over the top to get their point across.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Bureaucracy destroys initiative. There is little that bureaucrats hate more than innovation, especially innovation which produces better results than the old routines. Improvements always make those at the top of the heap look inept. Who enjoys appearing inept

    Frank Herbert “Heretics of Dune”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Empires do not suffer emptiness of purpose at the time of their creation. It is when they have become established that aims are lost and replaced by vague ritual.
    Frank Herbert “Dune Messiah”

    Power tends to isolate those who hold too much of it. Eventually, they lose touch with reality and fall.
    Frank Herbert “Dune Messiah”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
    Wrong. Power attracts the corruptible

    Frank Herbert “Chapterhouse: Dune”

    Real friendship is shown in times of trouble; prosperity is full of friends.

    The wise learn many things from their enemies.

    Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
    Napoleon Bonaparte

  • Brickfields Gunners

    A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.
    Frank Lloyd Wright.

    Sometimes I lie awake at night and I ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.’
    Charlie Brown

    The Zen master steps up to the hot dog cart and says, “Make me one with everything.” The hot dog vendor fixes a hot dog and hands it to the Zen master, who pays with a $20 bill. The hot dog vendor puts the bill in the cash drawer and closes the drawer. “Where’s my change?” asks the Zen master. The hot dog vendor responds: “Change must come from within.”

  • Pat

    You’re being a bit hard on teachers, Tony.

    It’s not easy teaching classes of 30 children or teenagers.

    And in this country there’s a general lack of respect for teachers that makes the job harder.

    Dishing out lines and detentions is more a desperate search for control so as to be able to actually teach, rather than a power trip.

  • Pat,

    Thanks for your comment. You beat me in response to Tony’s teacher punching. I think he needs to spend some time in a comprehensive secondary school teaching sets of classes with 30 pupils and then he came make the sort of judgement he just did.

    I agree with Tony that detention doesn’t work in changing badly behaved kids. Well, not as much as teachers would want it to, but to suggest that teachers punish students just to “get of” is unfair and insulting to them as professionals.

    In my experience, detention and other punishments work best as deterrent to the better behaved kids. Teachers know the kids for whom detention means nothing but to not still apply the punishment (which is usually in the school policy and not just at the whims of the teacher) sends a message to the better behaved kids that they can also misbehave with no repercussions. Managing behaviour for learning is difficult and takes a good portion of the lesson time but to have no sanction in place will only lead to anarchy in the classroom thereby denying ALL children of the opportunity to learn.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I wonder what happens with all the money Uefa gets from those fines. Maybe some big fat bank accounts will benefit from it?

  • Micheal Ram

    Welcome to your life
    There’s no turning back
    Even while we sleep
    We will find you
    Acting on your best behaviour
    Turn your back on mother nature
    Everybody wants to rule the world
    It’s my own design
    It’s my own remorse
    Help me to decide
    Help me make the most
    Of freedom and of pleasure
    Nothing ever lasts forever
    Everybody wants to rule the world
    There’s a room where the light won’t find you
    Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down When they do I’ll be right behind you
    So glad we’ve almost made it
    So sad they had to fade it
    Everybody wants to rule the world
    I can’t stand this indecision
    Paired with a lack of vision
    Everybody wants to rule the world
    Say that you’ll never never never never need it
    One headline why believe it ?
    Everybody wants to rule the world
    All for freedom and for pleasure
    Nothing ever lasts forever
    Everybody wants to rule the world

    “Everybody wants to rule the world”
    by Tears for Fears

    Everytime I hear or read about the corrupt idiots in UEFA, I remind myself of this song.