Once again I look back at a weekend where crucial, and ridiculous, decisions are made by the referees and the authorities that govern them. Two offsides, a dodgy penalty, a red card tackle and a clear cut penalty all in one match, all in one of the biggest matches, for both teams, even at this stage of the season. Manchester United won, Chelsea felt hard done by, whilst the officials walked away with the tag 'Shocking' written all over their face. As much as this match excited with some pieces of magic, Nani's all round play and Torres' sublimely finished goal, and some absolute shockers, Rooney's penalty, Torres'  open goal miss and Ashley Cole's horror tackle on Chcharito, the FA cannot look at this match and be proud of what they saw, yet, as usual, they're doing nothing about it.

First of all the debate about referees. Andre Villa-Boas is having a meeting with Mike Riley this week to discuss his issues in the match on sunday, I would say fair play if Riley were to do something about it. He won't, and we'll see Phil Dowd in control of another Premiership match this weekend. Is that right? Is that fair? If a player has a poor game does it go unnoticed by the manager? It doesn't, so why are referees performance going unnoticed by the governing body? Human error can only be used an excuse so far until you have to turn around and say, that guy does not know what he's doing. A committee should be properly re viewing every referees performance and marking them for every good/bad decision they make in a match. The more bad decisions, the worse games you get and the more good decisions then get you the big games. Until that is done, the referees will feel as safe as they feel now in their positions and these poor decisions will continue to occur.

Unfortunately, some of the rules made by the FA have made it difficult for referees at times, ie the Ashley Cole situation with Hernandez. The rules state if the ball is out of play the referee cannot give a penalty, that is a ridiculous rule and was shown for all to see on sunday when Cole was booked but no penalty was given. First of all Cole should have seen red as it was a disgraceful tackle, but secondly a penalty should have most definately been given. If a player rounds a goalkeeper and is taken down as the ball goes out of play, is the 'keeper ever yellow/red card without the penalty being given? No. Did Hernandez gain an advantage by not getting a penalty? No. If a player was standing in the box before a corner kick was taken and I was kicked would the referee give a penalty, even though the ball is out of play? Yes. So what's different, why make ridiculous rules that confuse referees even more? It's just another typical stand by FIFA and the FA.

After all is said and done, and the managers get their say on the situations, what repercussions are there for Ashley Cole to face? "The FA will be taking no further action on the matter". Why? Once the referee deals with the situation on the pitch, no further action can be taken" (a rule made by FIFA, the most corrupt organisation in the world). What example does this set now? If, say Charlie Adam, goes out and makes a leg breaking challenge, gets booked, then he faces no further action? Is this organisation actually being serious? Or is it just because it's Ashley Cole and he can do what he likes? If it was Rooney you'd probably be talking about a 5 match ban. Did Ben Thatcher not have a yellow card upgraded to a red a few years ago? Is this being done because Villa-Boas has decided to challenge the referees so they've decided to leave Cole off? So many questions to be answered but not one of those cowards from the FA will directly answer them.

It's time for a change. Former players should be in charge, not suits that know nothing about the game. Our game is being destroyed by cheats and poor decision making, and there isn't one thing the FA, UEFA, or FIFA are doing about it. Until things change, expect more leg breaking tackles, offside goals, diving, swearing at referees (although can you blame them sometimes?) and managers going grey at the thoughts of having Phil Dowd in control of their next game.

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Comment by thecityisred on September 21, 2011 at 16:16
Actually has anyone got a quick link to the latest guidelines for referees?
Comment by thecityisred on September 21, 2011 at 16:16

Refs often ignore rules. Take the goalkeeper on the line for penalties one, nearly every time the keeper leave the line which is one of the reasons far more are being saved. There is an assistant ref looking right at it, the ref himself will be looking right at it and yet most of the time nothing will be done.



Comment by redmisty on September 21, 2011 at 16:08

RedBlackandWhite, you are wrong I'm afraid. There have been many, many clear examples of refs not always knowing the rules of football! Just one that springs to mind is the sneaky quick corner taken by Rooney (against Chelsea obviously) which led to a goal that was wrongly disallowed for no reason other than the fact that the ref didn't understand that what Roo and Giggs did was well within the rules.


David and Tom are spot in imo.

Comment by Tom O'Dowd on September 21, 2011 at 16:01

At this stage I think your just arguing for the sake of it. My points really arent that complicated but your making them out to be so.

My problem with the FA is that they're not doing anything about these situations. They could discuss the matters with FIFA and try to resolve issues from happening, such as a ridiculous rule as that. They're not though. They should be showing them evidence of incidents to prevent further similar incidents from happening on the World stage, Roy Carroll's calamity against Spurs happens with Frank Lampard against Germany years later. These sort of problems could be resolved if each association, not just the FA, got involved. My actual beef with the FA in this piece is the fact they did not punish Ashley Cole for a bad tackle where he should have seen red, and it's not the first time a similar incident has happened. FIFA's rules state once a player is sanctioned on the pitch he may not receive further punishment, unless applied for by the Football Association. But they couldn't be bothered. What message does that send out to the players and kids? Rooney cursed at a camera and was made out to be the worst of the worst, at least he didn't try and break someones leg. Same situation with Carragher on Nani in Anfield last March, just proves that this is continuing to happen, and it's ridiculous that nothing is being done to prevent it.

Referees want respect, but they won't get it if they allow players to make leg breaking tackles and not sanction them. To suggest I want a different set of rules in England is preposterous to say the least, I just cannot understand why nothing is being done help the game.

Comment by Tom O'Dowd on September 21, 2011 at 14:22
I go on to say the rules are contradicting each other, confusing everyone, including the referee, and that a penalty should have been given. What I mean is that the rule should be that, in a situation like sunday, a penalty should be awarded? I'm complaining about the rules and how they're confusing the referees, and everyone else, in that point. My problem lies more so with the rules and the sanctions, as much as referees infuriate people, there's times they can't do anything about it. Last thing I'd ever want is a ref making up his own rules though!
Comment by Tom O'Dowd on September 21, 2011 at 11:48

First of all there is clearly no case against the fact that referees should know the rules far better than any fan or anyone else really, the point I'm making is that there are times when they don't show this, make strange/ridiculous decisions, and leave fans/players/managers, like myslef wondering how they got to be in that position in the first place. The line "that guy does not know what he's doing" is not a suggestion that Dowd or any referee does not know the rules, it's the mere suggestion that when the big calls come into play the panic and make strange decisions. (Just like you said "IF he deemed the ball to be out of play", thqat was a big call that could be argued all day and night to be fair.)

Secondly I never suggested referees should start making up their own laws, I clearly said that FIFA and all the other governing bodies should not have rules like these in place when they clearly contradict other rules and completely confuse referees when they have a hard enough job as it is. (Just because the ball was out of play should not mean you don't get a penalty.)

And having a go at Villa-Boas certainly won't help any cause? He has a right to feel aggrieved about certain points, as does Ferguson and any other manager that has a decision or two going against him. I won't even start about how ridiculous it is that managers cannot speak their mind after a game, maybe if referees are finally given the proper help, and a more consisten system is in place, these arguments will occur alot less often. 


Comment by David O'Loughlin on September 21, 2011 at 9:51

Yes but those Chelsea fans are wrong. We're all hypocrites, whats a clear penalty for our team is never penalty if given against us. The people who need to be able to stand impartial in the middle are the referees supported by the FA and FIFA. Football is the biggest sport in the world yet almost every big match is surrounded by controversy.


Look back at the world cup final where Nigel De Jong almost killed Xabi Alonso and got a yellow for it. A fourth/fifth official should be reviewing the tv footage of that IMMEDIATELY. Straight on the radio telling the ref "Thats a definate red". And off De Jong would go. Imagine if Spain lost that game, if De Jong scored the winner?? The two-four years of qualifiers, playoffs and the tournament itself would have been worth nothing. All because the referee didn't have the perfect view of a tackle.


United vs. Chelsea is always riddled with mistakes. It seems after every game I see less talk about the great moments (Nani and Torres goals) and more about the offsides missed, bad tackles made and what the referee should have done. Its gone too far. Bring in video technology, bring in retrospective bans even if yellow cards were given, bring in a sin bin type thing. The rules of football need to be fixed, not just goalline technology or else every game will be ruined by talking about the referee rather than the teams that played...

Comment by rednecromancer on September 20, 2011 at 18:16
it was ever thus
Comment by thecityisred on September 20, 2011 at 18:05
Shades a ball crossing a line can be subjective and has been subjective, I'm trying to see if the technology has been tested in football.
Comment by Tom O'Dowd on September 20, 2011 at 17:59
First of all, anyone who would think cole's challenge wasn't red must not know the rules of soccer, although many of my chelsea mates wud fit into that category. Secondly I'm not sure goal line technologys the answer as offside decisions couldn't be contested or we'd turn football into american football, but a level of consistency surely isn't too much to ask? The linesman missed two offsides and the other one should have advised dowd to sent cole off, this wasn't the first time a linesman has missed a few crucial decisions in tight matches, a few is too many to be fair. Thirdly doing 4th official is just a week off for dowd, he'll be back next week. But I'm not trying to single him out I'm saying that there are ones who aren't punished, and I do notice these as they're reffing the next weekend. Considering I'm saying both sides were mistreated with offsides and a bad pen decision against chelsea and a clear penalty and red card for united I don't see your point?


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