Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The European managers complain but refs have it easy.

There is this astonishing reports said to come from League Managers Association of European Managers and Coaches. The survey claims to have quizzed 110 managers working in 14 countries on a range of issues affecting the game. 

According to the results, 83 per cent of managers feel the handball law requires further clarification. I am not sure what this means. Managers should know that the hand touching the ball or the other way round is an offence. They claim, according to the survey report, that if a player was hit with their hand or arm in a natural position, they should not be penalised. What position is natural? And why should the referees crack their heads with this twist?

"If the movement was deliberate they should be penalised, but the referee had to be sure the interference was on purpose." Now, that is over the top. There is no way meeting can be held during play to ascertain the intentions of the offenders. All books of the Laws of the Game always stress the opinion of the referee. If at his discretion he deems it was deliberate, it is a sending off offence. All hand and ball contacts are punishable. Seeking clarity here is like investigating the gender of a goat, as they say in Africa. 

I would agree with the learned brothers and sisters on their desire to see the introduction of video and goal-line technology as only 62 per cent backed it, and 63 per cent said football should consider a decision referral system such as in cricket and tennis. It is not explained why the four per cent opposed the use of any technology. It would be also nice to know who does not like it.

After so much fuss and debate, it is now common knowledge that the International Football Association Board approved goal-line technology earlier this year and will test-drive it at the Club World Cup next month. We are likely to see its introduction to the Premier League in 2013.

The managers are reported to have issues with rules, technology, transfers and finances and seek clarity and explanations. Not necessarily due to the survey or pressure from the managers, and a point which I totally agree with, is the claim that next season referees will be invited to English clubs to take part in training sessions. The referees need to understand the mechanism and mentality of the game. They should stop thinking of themselves as policemen stalking and haunting criminals.

Funny though, was the 72 per cent of managers who wanted increased sanctions for offences and unsporting behaviour which were only identified after the match while 66 per cent thought there should be no transfer window.

I could not believe, neither understand the 66 percent who thought that the rules surrounding the denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity - penalty, sending off and suspension - being unfair. From the onset, the game is about scoring goals. Promoting such is essential and anyone killing the spirit of that commitment intentionally or by accident should face the music. The point here is that, one can never tell the difference between deliberate offences and accidental crimes, hence, that should not matter.

Look, anything that gives advantage to the attacking team and good football should be encouraged. High level managers should be crying about the disallowed goals due to wrong offside calls from referees. Video technology should be employed for this and maybe even questionable offside decisions by referees should be punished. While I understand the speed of the game and the quick decisions they make, I distaste that with all my good heart. Managers and coaches also lose jobs because of those wrong decisions, the tactical mistakes they do and even the bad decisions players make.

Why should referees have it easy?