Martin Devlin: Aggressive behaviour from football players towards referees a disgrace

Author
Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Thu, 17 Sep 2020, 12:37PM

Martin Devlin: Aggressive behaviour from football players towards referees a disgrace

Author
Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Thu, 17 Sep 2020, 12:37PM

The biggest blight in football needs to be fixed and fixed right now.

The aggressive bad, tempered behaviour from players towards referees, seen constantly throughout almost every professional league you wish to watch, is a global disgrace on the game. Why FIFA do not immediately act is unfathomable.

And the only protest any of us can muster is to keep speaking out, speaking with others, publicly voicing my/your/our displeasure at those on-field antics being still allowed to happen. How many games every weekend do you see the referee make a decision then be surrounded by angry, shouting, contorted faces, right in his, swearing, gesticulating, physically bumpingĀ  etc etc.

And I'm talking a mass of players from the same team invading his space here. Then when you watch a replay of the incident, 99.9% of the time the ref was right making the players over-reaction doubly wrong. But that's by the by and in the great scheme of things largely unimportant.

Because what this is about is respect. Plain and simple. Respecting the officials and acknowledging their on-field authority. Yet this does not exist at the highest levels of the sport and, again, how is this continually allowed to happen?

What good reason at all does FIFA have for not stamping it out? Someone please tell me because for years I've racked my brain trying to figure this and still can't thinkĀ  of a single good one.

Covid should be making this even easier. Here's the new rule: No-one, and that is no-one, goes within 2m of the referee ever at all never. While the captain is the only player allowed even that close and the only one who may ask questions. Anyone who infringes on these rules receives an instant yellow card.

Do it twice and it's a red and you then face the judiciary and also cop a suspension. Implement these rules and you instantly solve the problem. Instantly. I repeat, the behaviour of players at the highest levels towards refs remains the biggest blight on the sport. And if football really does think of itself as the beautiful game, then time FIFA did something about this its ugliest side.