Hanging judge: Stamp out cheating and diving once and for all

Errol Sweeney says that players diving and cheating – trying to get their opponents yellow-carded or sent off has become a regular occurrence
Errol Sweeney says that players diving and cheating – trying to get their opponents yellow-carded or sent off has become a regular occurrence

One of the basic principles of being a human being is that we are honest, clean-living and courteous. We are raised by our parents, hopefully, to accept other people’s beliefs, and to respect their property and right to go about their business without hindrance or hassle.

We are taught manners and to respect the rule of law so that we don’t endanger or impede another person’s way of life and culture.

These values seem to be lacking when it comes to football. I regularly see players diving and cheating – trying to get their opponents yellow-carded or sent off. Gesticulating with an imaginary card towards the referee is the most irritating and disgusting gesture. Quite honestly, it makes me sick.

The clear and deliberate “performance” by some players to indicate to the referee that they’ve just been hit by a battering ram or a 40-ton truck leaves me so nauseated that I am sometimes tempted to turn the television off.

I’m sure you’ve seen it too.

So who’s to blame and what can be done about it?

In my humble opinion, referees are to blame. It is the responsibility of the match officials on the day to ensure that a game is played to the full extent allowed – 90 minutes and, if necessary, extra time and penalties – and all in accordance with the laws of the game as set out by Fifa and its International Football Association Board.

The lengths to which some players will go – and, it would appear, with the full support and backing of their coaches – to get that extra advantage for their team is mind-boggling.

I watched a game recently where the shenanigans by players from both teams were nothing short of disgraceful. They hassled the referee and protested every decision. Even when it was obvious that they were in the wrong, they continued with their barracking of the unfortunate ref.

What did the referee do? Nothing, except try to appease them with his actions.

Ref man management

This is, apparently, the new method or the new “buzzword” being employed by the powers that be to try to control a game. We, as referees, now have to coddle overpaid, overrated prima donnas so as not to upset the little darlings. Heaven forbid.

I’ve even seen referees putting their arms around the shoulders of certain players in an effort to calm them down. At the same time, the players will be abusive and insulting, and direct foul language at the referee because a decision went against them.

This is nonsense. It’s ridiculous. It’s totally wrong.

When are match officials going to stand up to this kind of abuse?

The other night when a substitution was taking place, the referee tried to get the player to leave the field at a pace slightly faster than that of a snail. The player could clearly be seen telling the referee to f**k off.

Eh? What the hell is going on here? So much for the respect thing.

That would have been a red card until recently. Now, it’s downgraded to a yellow card. Nevertheless, the player should have received some sanction, but, guess what? Nothing happened. The ref actually backed off for fear he might hear what was said and be forced to administer a sanction. You know, just pretend you didn’t hear.

Referees need to take back control of the game and demand respect. This is only going to happen if we forget the so-called man management method and the patronising, total waste-of-time handshakes at the start of the game. It’s the height of hypocrisy and serves absolutely no purpose.

Come on everyone, let’s get back to basics.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions on this issue.

Happy whistling!

  • sports@citypress.co.za
  • hehangingjudge88@gmail.com
  • Follow me on Twitter @dr_errol

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