Respect the Ref!
How many times have we seen the referee book or send a player off because of foul and abusive language? Too many times!
One example springs to mind, Javier Mascherano when he was sent off by Steve Bennett for questioning a decision in Liverpool`s Premier League Match last season.
The last thing we want the youngsters of today to see is professional football players mouthing off at the referee. The man in black does do a very difficult job, and of course they are only human and are bound to make mistakes. The pressure on referees in this day and age is almost unbearable.
Every year, a thousand referees at amateur level quit the game due to both verbal and physical abuse. However, the majority of these cases have been caused by the parents of the young players. No wonder the FA has stopped competitive games for the under eights. There has been far too much emphasis on the winning side of the game, rather than developing the children as footballers.
Instilling the young kids with competitiveness during a match is wonderful; it fills them with ambition and desire. However if the referee somehow halts their success during a game, situations can definitely heat up. The kids will then think its okay to shout at the referee…because Javier Mascherano does!
Then again, the referees just aren`t consistent enough. Mike Riley for instance, he must have called Ashley Cole over about three or four times after he made that bad tackle against Tottenham. But no, poor little Ashley was having non of it - with an 'I`m on more money than sense` type of disgusted look on his face - 'Why should I listen to you, Mike"?. The tackle was bad enough to be a red card anyway, but Mike Riley didn`t have the bottle. Ashley Cole remained on the pitch, and no lesson was learned.
So the youth of today`s football has seen two contrasting incidents, which will definitely not benefit the modern game.
Football needs to take a leaf out of Rugby`s book. Addressing the referee as 'sir` and not questioning any of the decisions that are made.
There really is no point in shouting at the ref, it`s not as if he`s going to change his mind.
"Ref! How did you not see that? It was clearly a corner!"
"Oh, I`m sorry Cristiano, you know what, you`ve just convinced me, I`ll let you have your corner".
Although in some cases, Yellow cards are dished out like sweets at a party. Taking your shirt off is one example. Okay, there has to be some boundaries when celebrating. But come on. Football is filled with passion, players should be allowed to express their feelings, and if taking their shirt off does it for them, then so be it!
So if a player scores twice, and takes his shirt of both times, it`s a sending off. Whereas in some cases, a horrendous challenge that could cause a broken leg can result in the offending player remaining on the pitch. Bizarre.
Let`s face it; football is not what it used to be, fair enough. The game is evolving. But the principles of the game should remain intact.
Respect the ref, and the ref respects you.