Refereeing standards keep on dropping

Robert ONeill, NCISA What is going on with the standard of refereeing? This season things just seem to be getting worse.

Robert ONeill, NCISA

What is going on with the standard of refereeing? This season things just seem to be getting worse.

I know it is an impossible job to do (I myself was a Grade 3 ref until I gave it up). For example, I got home after our win over Preston, switched on Radio Five Live and caught the end of the Liverpool v Sunderland game. A penalty was awarded, at which point one of the commentators said: “I can't believe the referee did not see that. It was a clear penalty. It was his assistant who gave it, and the ref just seemed to go along with it.”

The penalty was scored. The commentators then said: “What did you make of the decision to give that pen?” “Well, I have now seen it three times on this screen and I can't believe it was given.”

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It has been said that the play-off final is the richest game of club football in the world, yet the referees that are no longer good enough to take charge of games in the Premier League are passed down to take charge of Championship games such as that one.

How this can be justified? With the number of Championship games shown on television and with fans digging deeper and deeper into their pockets to watch the games, something has to change, and change soon.

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Just in the past few weeks at Carrow Road we have seen a referee who runs half the length of the pitch to tell a goalkeeper stop wasting time but not booking him, and that played into the keeper's hands by wasting yet more time.

Then the same goalkeeper, after aiming a punch at Darel Russell, only received a booking when the law states he should have been given a red card.

Perhaps it would also help the referees if players and coaches were made to complete basic referee courses.

After my many years of being involved in football, such a course opened my eyes and made me realise I wasn't fully aware of all the rules and their interpretations.

It is also time to bring in technology. I don't want a TV referee who would just slow the game down by watching replay after replay.

But what about linking refs up to the PA system, as in other sports.

Referees can then say why free-kicks are given or why players are booked in order to prevent the total disbelief or confusion from the managers and fans alike.

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