Thursday, April 12, 2012


FA should ignore Fifa and police its own game

The Football Association is full of talented people working tirelessly for the betterment of the game. Yet admitting at dinner parties that you work for the organisation these days must be a bit like confessing that in your spare time you microwave small animals on behalf of a consortium of leading merchant banks. Or worse, that you are a journalist. ...

See the whole story here, from The Telegraph.

Kicking Back Comments: There are (2) key passages that jumped out at me.

The first is the relationship between FIFA and any National Association:

But instead of recognising that it has the power properly to intervene, the FA behaves like the society hostess upbraided by George Bernard Shaw.

“Would you sleep with me for a million pounds?” legend has it the playwright asked her. “Yes,” came back the speedy reply. “Good, so would you sleep with me for a pound?”

“What kind of woman do you take me for?” she spluttered in indignation. “We have already established that,” replied Shaw. “We are now merely haggling over the price.”

Boy do I agree with this. FIFA should leave the associations alone to run their leagues. International play ... different story. I think that works and FIFA should appreciate it as FIFA does what is best for themselves, let the country folks do what is best as well.

The other passage is:

Professional referees have demonstrated they are willing to accept responsibility for their errors in the pursuit of improvement.

The FA, however, makes them look a body of men cowering behind procedure that covers up incompetence and punishes innocence. That is not the characteristic of a robust, self-confident organization.

To which I say ... CAN I HAVE AN AMEN!?!

Recognizing and adjusting to errors is a hallmark of the very best referees. The very, very best do this within a particular match so the adjustment is instant.

To have the league "whitewash" an issue when the referee genuinely knows he blew something is not productive, in fact it is counter productive. Now this is a fine balance as most folks are really undereducated to what may have actually happened, but if a referee screwed up, I think, and the author seems to agree, get it out there, learn from it, and move on.

If as referees we are not doing this anyway after EVERY SINGLE MATCH, there is something wrong.


  1. "if a referee screwed up, I think, and the author seems to agree, get it out there, learn from it, and move on."

    I have to disagree. As soon as referees start holding press conferences after matches about the mistakes they made it'll become a mad house. Soon teams will be demanding games be completely replayed. Supporters will find out where the referees live and they will threaten them or worse. Referees are best out of the limelight, doing their job and not released to the hounds.

  2. Fair comment Anon, and one I respect, but don't agree with as my comments indicate.

    It may be more a personal than a professional feeling, and somewhat masochistic I would admit, but true crazies aside (and there always are) I believe there is more to learn in a transparent environment.

    I also believe that for folks to believe in what you are doing, that transparency is necessary.

    I do understand, and respect the contrary point however as there are times that I have followed that prescription as well ... with varied results.