WITH Christmas just round the corner so-called football pundits have been calling for Mike Riley to be making more phone calls to clubs to apologise for refereeing mistakes.

Recently, there have been a number of controversial decisions, the tackle on Luis Suarez which should have seen Kevin Miralles shown a red card and the Wes Brown challenge in which he was red-carded for after 36 minutes, (which has now been rescinded), spring to mind.

Both have been highlighted and covered all across the media networks, thanks mainly due to half a dozen camera angles.

This shows that the man in the middle who has only a split second and one angle, which sometimes is partially blocked, to make a finite decision has totally a thankless task.

If managers had to make a phone call for their players and their own mistakes, they would never be off the phone.

We have also seen former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dean tell dinner guests at the Morton Club that timekeeping should be the responsibility of an independent timekeeping scheme.

Do you think we need a giant countdown clock on a big screen like we see at rugby league games?

Since when did referees need help with how much time needs to be added on? They never needed it at Old Trafford as Sir Alex Ferguson was always very helpful with that!

Bet you have not heard of either of these referees, Stanislavsky Todorov who referees in the Bulgarian League was punished for a poor performance in a recent game.

Football fans are a fickle bunch at the best of times.

To Boris Borisov a CSKA fan, the punishment the referee got did not fit the crime and decided to go on hunger strike as a protest, yes on hunger strike, it makes fans’ protests in England a bit weak.

Then what do you do when a match goes totally pear-shaped and ends up in a 20-plus player mass brawl? Well Damian Rubino is the man you can rely on to sort things out.

In a recent Argentina Division Five clash, he managed to show the red card on 36 occasions, beating the previous record of 20 set in 1993. Finally, sometimes some grassroots matches can become very one-sided, with teams being cheered on by parents and coaches to score more and more goals.

So what would you do as a manager or coach if your team was 18-0 up, well, match referee Brian Savill had an idea of his own, he decided to get in the act himself.

No, not to make it 19-0 and rub salt into an already gaping wound, but to make it 18-1. Not a good idea. Brian stated in his local paper that referees are not “Hitlers running around blowing whistles all the time”.

Brian has admitted what he did was wrong, but he also added after he was advised he could expect a winter break (suspension).

He resigned from refereeing and accused the governing body of having no “sense of humour”. Then when was the last time anyone at the FA did a stand-up act?


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