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Does Rubbish Refereeing Ruin Soccer? Debating The Dumbest Red Card Ever


The Spoiler is never one to jump on a bandwagon, in fact, we still love Nick Clegg, we don't think the Kings of Leon have, like, totally sold out and some of our best friends are bankers.

But after weeks and months of pretty poor refereeing, we've finally decided it's time to start having a long hard look at the standard of officiating and what it means for football and stuff…


First, an apology. This would have been up 10 minutes earlier (we know you're probably devastated) but when the big brains at Spoiler HQ were asked what they thought about Robin van Persie's red card and the standard of refereeing in general, everyone went madder than a black swan-playing ballerina.

There's been a lot of talk about the decisions that went Arsenal's way and that the sending off evened things out a bit. But that's not really the point is it? Two, three, four wrongs don't make a right.

How is it right that Van Persie gets sent off for having a shot after the whistle has gone, but Wayne Rooney and Jamie Carragher don't walk for elbowing and gashing?

Confusing, isn't it?

What's equally confusing is how much everyone seems to absolutely love debating and arguing over these decisions. It's a sadomasochistic joy that doesn't leave bruises following your tw*tting with a table tennis bat by Mistress Morticia. Perfect.


The reluctance of FIFA to give referees any more help in a game that has changed almost beyond recognition in the past few decades seems to imply that they're quite happy for the injustices to continue. If we know anything about Blatter and Co, then it's safe to assume that if they thought the popularity of their ‘product' was being harmed by poor refereeing, they'd change it — clearly it isn't.

Does the human error element make things better? What should be done about the refereeing situation? Should anything be done?


This post, written by Richard Anderson, is republished with permission from The Spoiler. Go there often if you like soccer stuff.

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