The power of referees in football must be tamed.

Filed under: Sports Issues |


Referees have been called many names in the game of football. Some have called them the 12th man in the field of play while many others refer to them as the men in the middle. Be that as it may, the man in the middle of the pack has been alloted too much power which is ruining the game. Their power is best described as absolute power to kill or give life. Referees’ power in the game cannot be overlooked in any measure, they can make or mar games. As long as the game of football have lasted on earth, they have left some players and fans with the bitter taste of either being a player or a supporter. They practically lord over every game, be it in form of a referee, or an umpire. The funniest thing is that most of this refs are secret admirals of a particular club or a fan of a player in a clubside which will definitely influence his decisions in the game, in the way he protects him, even go as far as awarding penalty with the slightest of touch in the penalty area.

Referees have in several occasions taken the shine off so many epic encounters by way of his erratic decisions. A recent occurrence is the El clasico game between Real Madrid and Barcelona in the la liga, a game that had massive stars in display on the night and Undiano Mallenco took the initiative to make it all about him, awarding 3 penalties. 2 of the penalties went in favour of Barcelona, while 1 went to the boys in white, and a red card to Sergio Ramos which turned the game and eventually Barcelona emerged victor.

Christiano Ronaldo has this to say about the referee after the game, “Undiano Mallenco is not suitable for games like this, we were playing against 12. it’s always the same. It’s like they don’t want us to win and wanted Barcelona back in the title race,” he continued “I am not looking for excuses, but I don’t want to stay quiet on this. The referee was not at the required level for a big game like this”.

As much as we cannot neglect the human factor associated with refereeing actions on the field of play and like every human, we are all prone to mistakes at one point or another, that is the more reason why referees wrong decisions must be overturned in the event of a video replay because as the day goes by, their singular actions causes a team some precious 3 points, opportunity to draw level, a chance to climb up league tables, and most importantly, the fans are robbed of good games. Recently, the game between Manchester United vs Liverpool had the hand of the referees all over it, 3 penalties were awarded to Liverpool, which they went ahead to win by 3–0 and here comes Andre Marriner’s blooper in the game between Chelsea and Arsenal – sending off Kirien Gibbs, the wrong person, when Alex Ox-Chambaline was the culprit for handling a goal bound ball at the heart of Arsenal’s defense. If the scoreline was much closer, Mr. Wenger would have spent the entire week crying wolf about the referees decisions because, it is only in the eyes of Andre Marriner that Kirien Gibbs strikes a close resemblance to Alex Ox-Chambaline.

The same Andre Marriner aided Jose Mourinho to maintain his unbeaten record when he decided to award a controversial penalty to Chelsea in their game with West Bromwich Albion in few seconds of extra time, in order to allow Chelsea draw level on goals. It is said that absolute power corrupts, the referees must not be allowed to rule over games just with the whistle. Such powers must be tamed if the game is to be purged of favoritism even if human error cannot be ruled out, at least it can be corrected.