Arsenal News

Live Arsenal News

Arsenal latest news

Arsenal News & Transfers
As featured on NewsNow: Arsenal newsArsenal News 24/7

Arsenal News, Only Arsenal, Blogs, Transfer News


February 2021

There is maybe an even bigger problem than referee errors in football – part 2

By Walter Broeckx

If you have read the first part a few days ago but not sure about it anymore:  Part 1 can be found here

We continue:

And that is where I think we might have a chance that the video ref will clean up football from its terrible behaviour of the players.

In the discussions of the elbow against the head of Bellerin I have seen lots of pundits rubbish. Even said by ex-referees. The usual bollocks about “he didn’t see him” (then he was careless and that alone is already a foul) or “it was just a coming together” (yeah that is why Bellerin hasn’t been able to practice the whole week and was up to now when I write this article uncertain to play. It does look to me that some excessive force was used by Alonso when he clattered his elbow against the head of Bellerin. Excessive force isn’t that a red card? Look it up in the laws of the game.

Anyway it is those terrible false statements that allows people to get away with murder. We have every excuse ready to say that he didn’t meant it and that in fact he is such a nice boy.  No I don’t watch football to see broken legs. Of broken skulls or concussions. Or blood dripping out of head wounds. That part of football is maybe nice for some sadists but no sane person can find any good feeling from injuries and some terrible injuries.

We have to say that it is not acceptable to severely injure other players. It is a no go! And the pundits who are all ex-players who still think like players and who think: “would I elbow a player in order to score a goal even if he got a bad injury?” And the sad part is that they all would do it. But this is not football. Football is never meant to hurt and injure other people.

That is why they wrote down the laws of the game. And that is why IFAB is working on the laws of the game each and every season.

They even came out with saying that the laws have to be improved in order to make the game fairer and let teams who want to play within the laws of the game win more matches.  Or get a better chance of winning them. IFAB has enough of the violence we see on the field and wants to stop it. The big problem is that pundits don’t know this. We should demand IFAB to send people to the pundits with strong elbows who can ram it down their skulls. Maybe then they will understand.

Yes the latest changes in laws have been designed to promote attacking football and help teams that want to play attacking football. It seems that it hasn’t been clearly said to the PL referees so far this season. As I have seen howlers against the new instructions from referees who really should have known better.

Watch Arsenal Live Streams With

The video ref is also one of those tools that might clean up football. Players kicking another out of sight of the ref… if the video ref has it on film he will send him off. Think of the endless pushing and pulling at a corner…. Just imagine that the video ref tells the ref on the field to give a penalty against a defender. Do it enough and it will stop.

All the elbows that will be much better spotted by the video ref and telling it to the ref on the field who can take appropriate action. We, well certainly I, don’t come to a football match to watch fouls off the ball behind the back of the referee, pushing and shoving at corners or serious injuries from flying tackles and elbows. That is not why I come to a match.

But if players know the video ref is on their backs watching them… then maybe players will act and stop doing those stupid, dangerous and silly things.  Just imagine, no more elbows, no more fouls behind the back, no more wrong goals… no more cheating from players. Or at least a decrease of the attempts of cheating.

A final thing to complete the change of behaviour should be the punishment of those diving for a penalty. I think in Scotland they are doing this as I have heard but if a player dives for a penalty we should ban him from football for a few days. Players would do all they can to stay on their feet because they will be put in shame when their diving is exposed.

So yes the FA and the PL have to clean up the PGMO-mess we are seeing most of the time. But we also must turn to the players and let them know that they need to behave on the field and play within the laws of the game.

If we can get those two things together we might see a better football in the future. And a football were the divers and cheaters don’t win matches like they mostly do now. No we will see the team that tries to play it the right way win the match without controversy surrounding it.

The philosophy that is behind our referee review is : “we want to make the correct decision” is the same as the battle that is being fought about introducing the video referee. Clean up both players, referees AND managers and who knows one day we might enjoy watching football again.

I was football crazy till I started doing the referee reviews. But since then I hardly watch any other match then Arsenal matches. For a football crazy guy like me, they (the cheaters) have managed from making a football mad person in to just an Arsenal mad person.  I just can’t stand the constant cheating anymore. Maybe the video ref will help me in becoming a football fan once again in the future….

Arsenal Kindle News

The novel “Making the Arsenal” by Tony Attwood which describes the events of 1910, which created the modern Arsenal FC, is now available for the first time on Kindle.  Full details are here.

Also available on Kindle, “Woolwich Arsenal: the club that changed football” the only comprehensive history of the rise of Arsenal as a league club, and the attempts to destroy the club, from within and without.   For full details please see here.


25 comments to There is maybe an even bigger problem than referee errors in football – part 2

  • Norman14

    Very good conclusion Walter. There’s nothing wrong with the laws of the game, just how the officials at PGMO interpret them.
    If there was a “Council of Supporters” that ran football governance in this country, we might actually start to get somewhere. Triple the ban for “Violent” fouls, double it for straight reds for non violent offences, 4 weeks ban for 5 yellows. Automatic 12 weeks ban for “cheating” including diving. As Walter says, the players would learn pretty quick. On the non playing side, have a league table for referees and assistants, with cut of points for poor performance, and suspension not just farmed off to the EFL.

    Unfortunately, the fans are not in charge, so the chances of cleaning up the game in this country are pretty slim, unless of course, the government outlaws betting company involvement within the game. In any shape or form.

    Personally, I don’t think we have any chance of EVER cleaning up football unless we, the supporters, demand action.

  • Usama Zaka

    If anyone watched PSG v Barca yesterday, the refereeing was almost perfect and exactly what should be a benchmark of refereeing in big games. As everyone knows Barca players like dive/flip-flop, surround the refs and con the refs at any given moment… well the referee had none of that yesterday. The referee was Szymon Marciniak of Poland, and is highly rated to be the referee for the CL final in various forums.

    He called nearly every foul correctly, booked players correctly for stepping on foot, made correct non-penalty calls with Neymar diving around. Best thing was how he kept the game in flow with good decision making and stamping his authority. No player of both teams surrounded to complain. Barca players were in fact throwing insults at end from far away.

    If only the incompetents at PGMO could learn a thing or two.

  • para

    Your last paragraph sums it all up really.

  • para

    How about a petition to IFAB that all video that the ref sees at incidents must be made to be seen and SHOWN by the various TV companies without exception?

  • Menace

    Walter, I sympathise with you as I am also a football mad person who played the game at schoolboy level & really enjoyed watch the professional game until the refereeing changed & the players began to cheat.

    I would love to see the beautiful game as it was in 1970.

  • AGM

    thanks walter for a good job. and yes, i believe fans should have a degree of influence on correcting wrong rulings (maybe 2 fans rep. for each team to form council of rep. for all other fans) but the truth is we cant be allowed to run the game. also walter, can you pls focus on the natural core problem facing the all games but so bad in football, thats the BETS COMPANIES.

  • Norman14


    re referee’s video/audio. I’d love this to replace commentary. Can you imagine the bullshit that would go on among commentators/pundits, if “RefCam” was live?

  • ossasa

    Cannot imagine what sort of football you desire as a bit of naughtiness on the pitch is nothing new and is an ingredient of the game. Not convinced you are that football mad if a few decisions or actions sent you into fits. Arsenal had two favourable decisions on the weekend so what really is the problem?

  • Chris


    this story (sorry in french but you can use google translate) :

    Tells how, in Swansea they have studied ex footballers and come up with a fact that they are more prone to dementia and Alzeimers then other people.

    Same conclusion as similar studies done in the US on american football players and boxers, yet the difference there is that instead of violent hits from time to time, football players have continuous and regular hits which are not violent enough for a commotion.

    As for Bellerin, I’d say that was a big hit….

    So I guess FIFA and FA will only start getting their act together, when, as it was done in the US, some player or player’s family will take them to court and ask for damages, or when an individual player goes to court against another player.

  • Chris

    As for hoping for change…if fans were to start boycotting the games on TV, audiences would drop, TV revenue would drop and the FA would have to act, clubs would be too scared that this takes root and diminishes TV rights.
    Why not a day without viewers ? A boycott like with Shell and their platform in the North Sea for example.
    Imagine the ruckus such an action would provoke…..

  • Norman14


    That would take a lot of fans unsubscribing and thus removing their only chance to view games.
    The sentiment is great, but in reality, I’d think highly unlikely.

    The trick would be to get at those who are behind the scenes in potentially corrupting our game – as AGM mentions, betting companies are at the head of that queue.

  • Norman14

    On Sky..

    Just saw an interview in which Carlo Ancellotti was praising Wenger for the job he has done with us, his experience, and his planning for games.

    Sky decided to back this up with background video of the “AAA” idiots with their primary school signs.

    No agenda there, then Sky!

  • Gord

    Re: Concussions

    I mentioned here a few weeks ago. In the sport of rodeo, there is an event called bull riding. Object being to stay on bull for a few seconds.

    Heading a ball, or being involved in head butting, or elbow/knee contact with head in football, is not in the same order of magnitude as the skull collision when a cowboy’s head hits the bull’s (rising) head, or if the cowboy is thrown off the back, and the bull kicks out with a hoof and hits the cowboy in the head.

    A young, popular Canadian bull rider recently died from too many concussions. His family decided to donate his brain to concussion research.

    He was from near Merritt, BC.

  • Leon

    Bull riding’s a sport? I didn’t even know that rodeo was, thought of it as a show/competition/event.
    Too bad about the guy who died, but I’m surprised many others have not gone the same way.

  • Gord

    Many others have. I’ve been to the National Finals Rodeo twice, once the last year in Oklahoma City and then the next year when it had moved to Las Vegas. I think it was in Las Vegas, where I seen a bull rider who was of African descent, get bucked off the back of the bull, and just as he was approaching the ground (feet first by accident), the bull kicked out and caught him in the cheek. It shattered his cheekbone.

    As far as I know, most of the people competing in the various events of rodeo, regard it as a sport. With the possible exception of “mutton busting”, where the competitors just think it is fun.

    Cattle cutting is only a sport for the horse (IMHO), the cowboy doesn’t participate athletically much in that as near as I can tell.

  • Flares


    I was reminded yesterday of the ’74 Charity Shield, a legendary scrap between Leeds and Liverpool which pretty much shames the modern game in it’s physicality and attitude. It was refreshing to see Johnny Giles receiving only a yellow card for blatantly punching Keegan in the face, but even more heartening to see Keegan get up after about twenty seconds and simply walk away with his teammates. Can you imagine the rolling around, 7 minutes of treatment, red card followed by both benches getting into a brawl, if that happened today? Back then they just simply ‘got on with it’.

  • Leon

    Klinsmann excepted! Although he was a few years later.

  • Gord

    The Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine Team has a PDF describing their concussion tool (SCAT) at:

    They list 15 papers in the research section, 4 are on bull riding.

  • John L

    Don’t forget Francis Lee’s recognised expertise as a “winner” of penalties from the early 1970’s.

    Perhaps the main difference in that period was that the practice was not so widespread, unlike the latter day examples such as Manchester United, where half the team do it so regularly that the practice is clearly condoned (or even coached) by the manager.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    @para further to what you said. Because I watch most matches on a computer, I can have multiple commentaries playing simultaneously and compare the comments. Imagine comparing the referees comments with the talking heads’ comments.

  • Menace

    Flares – back then they simply created a platform for today’s actors. Red cards were the Law but the refs had already started pandering to the bloodthirsty. I don’t agree that it was nice to see Giles punch Keegan. It was not football. Punching has its place in the ring. Good officiating would have sent of the initiator not the retaliator.

    I remember Leeds as being nasty with Bremner & Hunter. Not footballers but brutes on a football pitch.

  • Gord

    OT: Corruption News

    Norway has jailed 2 former players and a “punter” (bookie?) for corruption.

    Council of Europe to investigate sports organizations. Not impressed with what the infant one has done so far.

  • Menace

    Bull riding, Rodeo & Bull fighting are all sport. Extreme sport without permission from the bull. There is a level of cruelty but also a level of courage. I would like to see the Costas, Hunters, Bremners of this world standing like a ‘furcado’ to show us their courage.

  • Menace

    Leeds were nasty all round including their fans. They were notorious. The whole mentality lacked class & led to England not being able to play the game at a decent level.

  • Norman14

    Clattenberg has quit – effective immediately.

    Going to a role in Saudi Arabia.