Give Soccer Referees a Break

More and more, when I watch college football, it seems that the referees just can’t win. Don’t get me wrong, I see them miss calls. But there seems to be so much focus on showing missed calls on TV and for fans abusing referees.

See the recent suspension of a team of SEC officials after calls during the UGA-LSU game and the Florida-Arkansas game. Georgia and Arkansas fans not only sent hate mail, but they called employees’ phones with unbelievable messages accusing referees of all sorts of things. From being in the socket, having gambling problems, even deliberately trying to affect the score.

And this is the first time I remember a team being suspended, although I have seen equally bad or missed calls every week by the referees. Why this particular team in this particular situation?

I recently heard that ESPN had something like 25 cameras in one game Jasabola for a recent Monday Night NFL football game. I mean, with that kind of scrutiny, employees really have no chance. They are not perfect and there will always be missed calls. But now it’s how the media and fans are trying to highlight any missed calls and scream bloody murder.

If you have never organized a sporting event at least in high school, you need to think twice before accusing an employee of deliberately doing something wrong. It is an extremely demanding job. Now I’m not tolerating accepting bad offices. I think college football conferences need to monitor, criticize and hold the referees accountable. But what I saw recently is inconsistency and reaction to the media and fans from the conferences. It is not a logical and consistent policy to improve trading.

And I also saw a growing ugliness of football fans. Now, if you paid your money for a ticket and want to shout or boo the referees, I think it’s your right. But hunting them after the game and sending hate emails and voicemails is pushing the limits in my humble opinion. In what scenario is this behavior that we should tolerate?

I trained myself a little and had many conversations with the referees on the sidelines, where they admitted that they missed one or didn’t see the call as they should. And I saw some really bad workshops sometimes. But in high school and at lower levels, I always wondered what we adults thought we were teaching children because of the misbehavior regarding the referees I saw.

Now let me conclude by saying again that I don’t think bad office should be tolerated without trying to solve the problem. I believe that those responsible should consistently and fairly monitor and regulate employees. And instead of just suspending the reaction of media attention, adopt punishment policies consistent with published criteria.

And I think fans should give referees a break and consider all the right decisions they make in split-second decisions during the many, many games they call. And let’s remember, it’s just a game.

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