Thursday, September 26, 2013

Not to accuse referees, but this needs to stop

Aston Villa are denied a penalty when Vertonghen dragged Helenius down by his shorts, then Real Madrid are awarded a spot kick in the 97th minute when it looks like Elche may hold them to a 1-1 draw.

Two decisions that changed football matches, points, participation in cups and ultimately, money and success.

Spurs probably would have beaten Villa anyway, but Real Madrid couldn't beat newly promoted Elche, who had been out of the top flight for 24 years.

It was no surprise that Pepe 'won' the penalty, as he's used to getting his own way, or kicking out until he does. Losing to him would have been a loss of face, so it was either a red card, or cheating to win.

But there are plenty of players that cheat (Ashley Young is back in the spotlight), but we need stronger referees.

Just because Manchester United, Real Madrid etc. are expected to beat the smaller teams, referees can't have different sets of rules for different teams/players.

We deserve consistency, honesty and professionalism. There is more than money and success on the line. There is integrity. There is no doubt that Real Madrid win is tainted. And while they will still finish in the top 2, Elche could get relegated by a point and have to wait another 24 years to play in La Liga.

Let's pay the referees more, make them (and the cheats) more accountable, and make it an even playing field.