GLF76: Graham searches for answers
What do we do about referees?
The whole Tannadice penalty incident involving Celtic and Dundee Utd seemed to rumble on forever, but what do we need to do with our referees in Scotland?
I won’t bore anyone reading this about the whole thing involving Dougie McDonald, Steven Craven and Hugh Dallas but I’d rather look at the bigger picture. The standards have been getting worse for years and I now hanker for the days of John Rowbotham and Willie Young, guys we didn’t appreciate at the time! Sometimes I do believe the job has become too difficult for people across the globe, with stupid directives from FIFA/UEFA. For example how difficult is the offside rule to interpret these days! The other thing we have to take into consideration in recent weeks is the behaviour of the players themselves. Look at the tackles and the diving in the Old Firm game, and Willie Collum would have needed four pairs of eyes to pick up everything.
Going forward I would like to see the referees answering questions on their controversial decisions after a game. For example at Fir Park v Hamilton, fans left wondering why Martin Canning wasn’t sent off for barging Nick Blackman off the ball as he was about to tap into the net. A more obvious goal scoring opportunity you will never see, but not according to Craig Thomson. Secondly I would like a rule to be passed that prevents the managers/players criticising refs after the game, this would also mean the press not asking questions about the ref. Other sports fine coaches and managers who criticise match officials and I would support that if the SFA decided to do this.
The other thing I would like to see is all Celtic supporters banned from talking about referees as they seem to believe they are the only team who has ever suffered at the hands of referees – but we all know different. We have suffered this season already with the falling over of Maloney, and also in the past when he has won penalties against us. Every club can come up with decisions that they haven’t got, for example the one I mentioned above with Canning, and also Prince Buaben could have had two yellow cards the previous week. One of these changed the game and the result, while the other didn’t BUT I am sure we could through every game we play and come up with a poor decision from a ref (check back issues of GLF for a list!!), but without them we don’t have a game.
Looking at Euro games at Fir Park & Scotland games at Hampden the refs in these games aren’t any better. As for our friends in England look at some of the decisions down there, Attwell’s goal that never was, Clattenburg at Man Utd v Spurs.
Unfortunately we can’t live without them and maybe we should just accept that and get on with the game.
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