Ref re­spect is two-way

The Non-League Football Paper - - NEWS - NI­CHOLAS J TITMAN, via email

I MUST ap­plaud Ian Ri­d­ley’s bal­anced and thought pro­vok­ing piece re­gard­ing ref­er­ees’ re­spect

(NLP, Septem­ber 10). Every­one con­ve­niently for­gets, that re­spect must be earned, it is not a right.

I watched a Step 3 derby on Au­gust Bank Hol­i­day Mon­day, where the ref­eree had trav­elled 240 miles, to pro­vide a ‘ser­vice’ to both clubs, and their sup­port­ers.

He man­aged to send off one player for stamp­ing on an op­po­nent, but failed to men­tion in his re­port the player sub­se­quently tear­ing off his shirt, throw­ing it to the ground and kick­ing a wa­ter bot­tle. He also had an un­for­tu­nate habit of touch­ing play­ers, when speak­ing to them.

The player won his ap­peal for the send­ing off and wasn’t charged for the other two of­fences.

How could any player or bench re­spect this of­fi­cial? Mr Ri­d­ley’s last para­graph sums it up, “ref­er­ees need to show re­spect and ex­am­ine their own con­duct”.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is the big­gest prob­lem. Time-wast­ing, for ex­am­ple, point to your watch let­ting play­ers, benches, and crowds know it is be­ing added on, or for free-kicks, use your body to in­di­cate what it has been awarded for, ie: point to your hand for hand­ball, el­bow etc.

Al­though di­a­logue with play­ers is frowned upon nowa­days, it does help im­mensely in pro-ac­tive con­trol.

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