UEFA want a clampdown on the rising level of
intimidation towards match officials.The footballing body reaction comes after the ‘Battle of Barcelona’ nearly ended up in disarray and complete anarchy on Tuesday night.
Outraged at the repeated sight of both sets of players haranguing referee Stefano Farina, UEFA have called for the
introduction of ‘temporary sending-offs’ if players continue to
confront referees. As in rugby, offending teams could also be penalised
by ten yards if they contest decisions. Sounds dismal doesn’t it?
UEFA are still awaiting the report of Farina before launching their own investigation and communications director William Gaillard said: "It was a very physical game and we are now facing a situation where something will have to be done by the International FA Board because every time there is a foul now you have 15 players protesting. It’s something we saw a lot of in the World Cup and it has just carried on into the Champions League. It makes life very difficult for referees. It’s up to the international board to look at this but maybe football could learn something from rugby, where the word of the referee is respected and not contested. It’s becoming a bad habit, everyone has something to say. It’s not easy to apply the 10-yard rule to football but there are other ideas which could be brought in to tackle this, maybe temporary sending-offs. We need more respect for the referee’s decision. We are at a turning point and something is going to have to be invented. Young referees are becoming harder to recruit because of the abuse the top ones are getting."
In fairness, referees do get a hard time. It is becoming increasingly difficult for referees to control games. That said, it would seem that UEFA are doing what they do best. Instead of solving the real problem, they are inventing more things to go wrong in a match. The real problem that they are avoiding is the overall quality of refereeing. Like I said, I know it’s no easy job, but match officials are getting more and more decisions wrong in a game which makes players lose respect.
Many referees are unable to read a match properly. As they do not come from a footballing background, they can’t make decisions with great authority. Everytime UEFA or FIFA bring in a new ruling, such as the advantage rule, ref’s and assistants are able to enforce it wisely as they do not understand the game. If a referee like Mr Farina had a sin-bin on Tuesday, the game would have still fallen into absolute chaos as he was unable to handle the pressure cooker environment of the match, and unable to deal with high charged players. The players obviously had no regard for the official, and thus, we would have ended up with loads of players in the sin-bin, leaving the game flaccid and defensive until players returned to the pitch.
We have rules in the game to stop dessent. The 10 yard rule isn’t hard to impose… it’s a case of referees lacking bottle to enforce it. When was the last time you saw it used? Also, the yellow card system works alright. Chelsea will be missing vital players such as Lampard in the next Champions League game because he couldn’t keep his mouth shut. If they keep at it, send them off! It’s easy. A referee commands respect by not backing down from spoiled players. If they keep getting booked for surrounding the officials, they’ll soon learn. Only thick players take their shirts off for celebrations now don’t they? [Mof Gimmers]