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Sound Offs: Players as refs 4

Posted on 9 October 2001  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

The final batch of your views on whether ex-players would make good referees and be able to spot cheating in the game due to past experience...


Robert Andrew: You have got to hand it to Glenn. He is spot on. Referee's have for too long given biased decisions and the FA are to blame for this. How can you ask a milkman or plumber to bring order to 22 men and a ball. The only people that know the game are the players. Especially with the cheating imported players. They think there trying out for an Olympic swimming medal. At least the ex-players know how to read the game of play and stop 'diving' to get players sent off and gain penalties just because, if they had to play the game properly, no team would give them a contract if they had to really show their suspect skill. At least the Spurs give a fair game.

Tanel Kagan: It takes a certain frame of mind to be a successful player. A certain individualism, hunger and passion. I'm not sure that a person with this sort of mind set is best placed to take up a position (of referee) that requires a cool, collective head, impartiality and ability to analyse situations quickly. Referees know from day one how they are expected to behave - firm but fair and not to behave wildly, rudely or abusively. Players unfortunately do this all the time. As they say, you can't teach an old dog new tricks...

Claire Ellis: As playing hockey and then becoming a qualified hockey umpire I personally know that as a player you are not always aware of the spacifics of the rules of the game that you are playing as a player. It may also not be a good idea if there are connections with the ex-pro and clubs, players and managers who are involved in the games which they are refereeing. As a player you have to think about different aspects of the game to being a referee and you may not be able to have a broad overlook of the game instead of focusing on specific areas of it. In reality everybody is human and be they player, ex-player of referee they will always get it wrong sometimes because everybody has a different interpretation of events. The only true answer to stopping mistakes being made would be to rely on technology, but would that take all of the fun out of the game?

Martin de la Fuente: Refereeing is as much about man management skills as it is about technical ability. A good ex-pro is no more likely to be a good ref than they are to be a good team manager or coach. Refereeing, coaching and playing are all very different parts of the game and individuals do not always excell in more than one part. As a semi-pro referee and examiner, my experience is that the mind-set of a good referee is very different to that of a player.

Grahame Jones: Why would any ex-player want to be a referee? Every player knows the amount of stick the referee recieves during 90 minutes, not only from the players, but the fans. As players they would have been adored, hero worshipped, and at the worst appreciated. As soon as a player makes the transition from player to ref, he would become another figure of hate. In some cases the grief directed towards the ref would be greater because of his playing career, and the rivalry between clubs. If you ask me the refs need the respect of the players. This can only be achieved if the ref is on more of a level playing field as the players when it comes to wages, if they recieve professional training, and the rules are more consistant. Take rugby for example, the refs comand respect from the players, and there is no problem. Maybe a video should be used to help the ref, and maybe there should be a second ref on the pitch to keep up with the speed of the game. There are solutions, but I don't think having ex-players as refs would make things any better, but I do think it would make things worse.

Jose Correia: With what players earn today can you see Figo wanting to become a ref or needing to become a ref.

Daniel Gothorp: Its a bloody good idea. Ex-players would be able to see a Savage dive a mile off.