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Referees – Thanks a hundred!

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This is my 100th post! A hundred sounds like a great many of anything let alone 600-1000+ word articles, but it’s a milestone that has crept up on me fairly painlessly. When I first started this blog, I worried that I would run out of things to write about. Touch wood, this hasn’t happened yet. In fact as I’ve gotten going, the going has gotten easier. I have progressed from one post per week to averaging two most weekends and often one mid-week as well. I’m finding the whole experience thoroughly enjoyable and greatly rewarding so rest assured there is no end in sight.

To celebrate my maiden century, I have decided to dedicate this post to the most difficult job in football – refereeing.

Referees in New Zealand are all without question doing the best job they can. They are not perfect but they all operate with integrity. The standard of football in this fair land of ours is hardly up to the highest international standard, therefore it is puzzling to observe some spectators and players seeming to expect Pierluigi Collina to turn up to ref them week in week out.

In my travels, I see refs and linos cop a lot of abuse. Sometimes it’s good humoured banter that often seems ok, but other times it’s downright nastiness and that’s never ok. Banter can lead to nastiness, and nastiness can lead to the kind of abhorrence that saw a referee’s jaw broken in a match this past season.

I sometimes wonder what makes someone want to be a football ref in New Zealand. Surely not the money. Referees are as vital a part of our game as the turf we play on. You can’t do without them and their willingness to put themselves forward for this too often thankless duty deserves our utmost respect and gratitude.

In recognition of this, I have trawled back through all my posts on local football over the past year and selected the best referee photos that I have taken. I present them here as my very small way of showing my appreciation for everything they do.

Categories: Other Football Topics

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.

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