Is the standard of refereeing getting worse or is it because the saturation televised coverage of the beautiful game highlighting the errors?
I’ve always believed the best referees are those you never notice, their decision making is impeccable, and they allow the game to flow, they also can retain the respect of those they officiate.
Yesterday, television provided a football bonanza for us supporters with time on our hands.
Tuning into the African Cup of Nations, I watched the game between Mali and Tunisia and like many others who watched, I was amazed that the referee, Janny Sikazwe, blew the full-time whistle after just 85 minutes.
Following a protest, the teams emerged to finish the game but, amazingly, the referee blew the final whistle after 89 mins, not playing a second of stoppage time despite their being numerous substitutions being made by both sides.
Later in the evening, I tuned into the second leg of the Carabao semi-final between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea another fixture with high drama on the refereeing front.
During the game the referee, Andre Marriner, awarded Tottenham two penalties and gave a goal, scored by Harry Kane. All three decisions were subsequently over-turned by VAR.
But, if VAR had not been in use for this game, it could have had a dramatic effect on the outcome of a two-legged tie that Chelsea bossed.
Now I accept refereeing has become harder over the years, gone are the days when only a couple of games were televised, in those days’ mistakes were made and, apart from a few words to the press afterwards, soon forgotten.
But these days, every goal is recorded, and shown, every mistake is picked up on and refereeing has become, I’d say, one of the hardest elements of the game but the big question remains – are refereeing standards on the decline?
Are Refereeing Standards Declining?
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