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Referees – Thanks two hundred!

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It’s about time we had another one of these – a post dedicated to the people who do the most thankless job in the game.

You have to be a special kind of person to want to referee football, or any sport for that matter. It takes real commitment to give up your weekends, and your weeknights, so that you can get yelled at, sworn at and criticised by players, spectators and Tweeters alike. When you get it wrong, you cop it. When you get it right, praise is rare. Yet it’s not easy. It requires great concentration, skill, split second decision making and eagle eyes.

I’ve seen some shocking verbal treatment of match officials around the traps while blogging football. Nasty, spit-flecked vitriol, and I find it reprehensible. What do people think gives them the right to treat someone, who is only doing their best, in ways they wouldn’t treat anyone else in society? What is it about those whistles or flags in their hands that says “I am not a real human being, feel free to abuse me”? Beats me.

If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have a game. Unless through some kind of miracle, players suddenly develop the ability to sort the interpretation of the rules out amicably and honestly between themselves (ooh look, a flying pig), they will always need someone to be there to attempt to adjudicate. They don’t get to score goals. They don’t get to lift trophies. They just get to come in and organise your shit.

For that, the least they deserve is the occasional thank you. So here’s mine. The 18 best referee photos I’ve taken so far this year, presented together in tribute to the most important people in the game. Thanks for everything you 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.

3 replies

  1. ha ha – i like how just under half of the photo’s were of people getting carded.

    I agree with everything you say Enzo – however there a number (it’s small) but a number of referee’s who are actually the aggressors and cause more problems than anything else, and sadly when a team experiences one of these it reflects badly on all referee’s and it shouldn’t but it happens.

    Also in my personal opinion NZF dosn’t help with silly rules like the recent implementation of reg 7 – now i agree with the concept of reg 7 but to write the regulations so that all abuse of a referee (no matter how minor) can fall into reg 7 at the discretion of the match official is absurd – in an mostly amatuer game who can afford a $200 fine and 4 week ban for what in some cases can be classed as a quip is silly.

    In summary good on the referee’s and the referee development people and keep up the good work – NZF if you could follow suit, that would be great.

  2. ha – to be fair I didn’t look through all the photo’s – maybe I just should have said i like how in a number of the photo’s you have people getting carded!

    Sadly my maths and my quips are both average.

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