darryl gibbs

thoughts and ramblings

The stupidity that is Football (or Soccer for the unwashed heathens)

To those that know me, I have little-to-no love for Football. The professional players are basically modern day slaves with ridiculous paychecks, who appear talented in moving a ball with their feet, whilst dabbling in some ballet and D grade acting. But that is not the focus of today’s rant.

Nay..today good people of the interwebs, I shall speak about the stupidity of the referees.

To make a long and boring story short, I am told by the faithful that controversy in referee decisions are part and parcel of the enjoyment of the game. That is to say, that opposing supporters can argue for a week about why the call was either fair or unfair, depending on your allegiances. So, that means that they really don’t want the ‘right’ call to be made, but rather one that adds fuel to already deadly fires.

Take Brazil, a country I currently call home. The number of fights and deaths that occur on literally a daily basis due to Football is completely ridiculous. People are routinely shot (even though it’s crazy difficult to even buy a gun legally here) because they support the wrong team. For heaven’s sake, when I first arrived here and spoke no Portuguese, I made the pivotal mistake of wearing the shirt of my family’s team of choice and then proceeded to be chastised by all and sundry while waiting for the bus. I later learned why.

Now back to my gripe about the decisions. In what I like to call ‘real sports’, like Rugby or Cricket for example, when a referee needs to confirm a decision, he refers the decision to a video referee. In many cases that same video is played on the stadium big screen for all to see! In this case, the best decision can be made, no doubt is left to imagination and the game continues with the right decision having been made. No death of supporters necessary.

Let’s go one further. Referees, what is their purpose? To be a figure of authority to ensure the game is played fairly, and to adjudicate when necessary. They should, therefore, be, by extension, respected. When is the last time to you saw a Football referee being respected? Hmm?

Bloody never.

Referees are insulted and spoken to as if they were rejected Barbie’s…they will never be good enough. They are not respected and therefore their decisions are constantly brought into question during and post-game. If we were to liken that action to a Rugby game, where the players are physically domineering in the eyes of the referee and one could argue more persuasive because of this, are respectful to the referee, and even in disagreement speak to him (or her in the female game) with the respect befitting his position. He is not to be trifled with. Doing so could at the least see the player removed from the field, or at worst banned for a few games.

So what’s the point here? Football needs reform. Football needs to actually use the replay features that have been at their disposal since the game has been televised. Footballers need to respect their position on the field and stop being completely ass-hats to the one person on the field that (is supposed to anyway) control the flow of the game.

But that’s never gonna happen.

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