Monday, November 4, 2013

What do we expect from referees?

Quite simply, we expect referees to get things right - and we worry less about a throw-in or time-wasting, but they can't get the big decisions wrong and not expect criticism.

Geezer watched the New York Red Bulls draw 2-2 in the playoffs with the Houston Dynamo on Sunday. New York bossed the first half and went in 2-0 up. Then Ricardo Salazar sent off Jamison Olave for a slightly reckless tackle near the halfway line. It was a judgment call, but seemed harsh on Olave. What bugged me more was that Salazar had the red card in his hand less than a second after he blew for the foul. Take your time, have a think if that tackle was really dangerous play. It wasn't, it was a yellow, but by no means worthy of a red.

Now some people will say that it was a red, and that's the beauty of soccer. There are human errors and debates rage for days, weeks and years over decisions.

But then Salazar didn't give Houston a penalty in the last minute (just after they equalized), probably because he didn't want to give another decision against New York. It was a foul, and should have been a penalty, but every football fan has seen officials try and even things up when they know they have got a decision wrong earlier in the game.

Salazar is by no means alone. We see poor decisions all the time, bad calls, missed calls and things that make no sense to anyone but the referee.

We don't need or want technology taking over. All the excitement and momentum that used to be in other sports is dwindling due to delays in refereeing/umpiring decisions.

Let's just give the officials we have better training and more respect and in exchange for some consistency and common sense.