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