Is there a thing called perfect referee in football ?
Dr Ningthoujam Rameshchandra
First of all, if we have to go by the proverbial saying “no one in this world is pure and perfect” or “no human is perfect”, and to quote further, “to err is human”, then are we treating football referees as machines and not as humans ? Because we often witness physical as well as verbal abuse of football referees on the football pitch itself either by players or by team officials. I think referees are also human beings and human beings often commit mistakes, either in their normal routine work or in their professional arena. Let’s also not forget such things too. And such mistakes happen even in the most sought-after leagues like – the English Premier League (EPL), La Liga (Spanish), Serie A (Italian), Ligue 1(French), Bundesliga (German), you name it.
In fact, there is no such referee called ‘perfect referee’ in the footballing world. They are all human beings. Despite the amount of money invested in football in developed/footballing Nations you still find those errors. Then, how can we expect that standard of referee in the small corner of the world like Manipur ? Forget about Manipur, you have seen the standard of the referees in Indian Super League (ISL) despite investing huge amount of money by Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) and All India Football Federation (AIFF). And those mistakes cannot be solely blamed on the referee fraternity, but on the governing bodies. It is the duty of the football governing body like AIFF or AMFA to conduct refresher course and training of those match officials (referees). So, when these governing bodies don’t conduct the world class or required level courses for these match officials, how can you expect a world class match official at the football ground ? I think we cannot solve the problem by killing referees or blaming the referees. Simple as that.
In a recent disturbing scene, in and around Imphal area, many football lovers of Manipur or beyond, must have witnessed the viral video clip that saw some players and team officials running after the match officials and thrashing them inhumanly. Whatever the reason maybe, attacking a match official is not a sign of professionalism.
The recent disturbing scene is not the only case we are witnessing in terms of attacking and abusing match officials. We have seen, heard many incidents of such physical abuse of match officials on the pitch itself, including the attack of match official by a former international player. Record of such abuses and attacks are reported in local newspapers every now and then. Having said this, the author of this piece is not promoting the biased nature of any judgement from the match officials. If we find biased nature of the referee, then there is an authority or governing body to look after these affairs. What is the plan ‘B’ or ‘C’ to avoid such disturbing scene again and again in the near future ?
So far, we don’t see any match securities (civil) apart from the Manipur police commandos who are armed with loaded AK-47 and that too does not have any use on a football field. Secondly, those policemen are not trained to conduct such events but for other purpose. Thirdly, the respective clubs don’t have any mechanism to discourage such un-sporting behavior, like community service or penalty like fine/pay cut (which is done in European clubs) apart from the penalty that are imposed by AMFA. These things have to be taken care of by AMFA largely to bring in professionalism.
(To be contd)