Silence is golden

A soccer referee crew.

Image via Wikipedia

As the fallout from Nani’s controversial goal against Tottenham continues, we’ve again heard calls for referees to speak to the media after matches.

This, we’re told, will end the furore that follows the flash points in games – why was a player sent off, why was a goal disallowed, why wasn’t offside given? Refs should come out and justify their decisions. It’ll result in referees having more respect from fans, players and managers.

Will it balls.

If that were the case it would have happened by now. I can’t imagine the FA are too bothered one way or another. But they’ve clearly been given the message by the Referees Association that this is not wanted. And I can completely understand why.

Imagine, for a moment, one of these post match interviews. The referee is wheeled out in front of a reporter who’s had the benefit of a dozen replays from four different angles. The referee tells us he gave the penalty for handball. The reporter tells him the handball actually took place outside the box.

The referee is then asked about the sending off resulting from two yellow cards. The second tackle he’s told: “Didn’t look that bad.” The referee says he thought it merited a second yellow. The reporter says a later tackle was worse and went unpunished. The referee says he didn’t think the tackle was as bad. And besides he didn’t have the best view.

No wonder the officials don’t want to speak to the media. All it would do is compound their errors whilst fans learn little of value about the incidents.

So referees will continue to remain silent. For as the saying goes, better for people to think you’re a fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt.


2 Comments on “Silence is golden

  1. Well said, I completely agree.

    The last thing I would want after my team has been robbed by a referring error is the ref on TV trying to justify it. Especially if the error was obvious and rather conclusive.

    It would lead to public humilation for the referee.

  2. Part of the fun of footbal is the room for interpretation and the human element of referees and linesman. I wouldn’t even have goal line technology. it all evens itself out anyway.

    I don’t have any problem with them coming out after the game and giving interviews.
    Problem is we may then start to get ageneration of Graham Polls and Anders Frisks who love the sound of their own voice and like to be the centre of attention.

    They should be invisible.

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