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Inconsistent refereeing.

b2ap3_thumbnail_kompany.jpgNancy Sinatra, the daughter of “old blue eyes” Frankie, once had a big hit song called These Boots are made for Walking. Seems like today in soccer, they are made for more than walking or kicking a ball with.


The amount of two-footed fouls, and they are fouls not tackles in the modern game is, to say the least, a serious cause for concern.


Is this a new trend?

Is this a new coaching tactic?

Is it now a new weapon in the armoury of coaches to win games?


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Why are referees explaining their decisions?

redcardThere are a few items I'd like to deal with in this column. Firstly, the issue of referees apologising for making perceived mistakes.


Now this may be all well and good in other circumstances but it does not apply to soccer refereeing.


Yes, it's true that match officials make mistakes and, guess what, they'll continue to make mistakes because they are like you and me - human. However, in the hurly-burly that is modern day football, it isn't necessary to apologise for making a mistake.


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Baffling post-match recommendation for High School Referees.

b2ap3_thumbnail_NFHS.jpgAs a somewhat seasoned referee for the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in Illinois, I have witnessed and somewhat have now come to terms with high school soccer rules slowly trickling down and intruding onto the FIFA Laws of the Game, ostensibly I suppose, to make the game most appropriate for high school student athletes as the NFHS sees it. These rules include, among others, rules about specific hand gestures to signal the reasoning for fouls called, the stopping of the clock for injuries, the issuing of yellow card to the coach for an illegally dressed player, the open book testing for referees and the fact that there is even no fitness test for high school officials. Oh and, yes, the issuing of cards to coaches is my personal “favorite.” I think a good enough picture has been painted. Needlessly to say, I’ve had a long journey of coming to terms with what passes for soccer officiating in a high school game setting.

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Sir Alex Ferguson retiring - will be missed by many, but not by all.

Sir Alex FergusonThe announcement of the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson as manager of Manchester United today will come as a big shock to many, but not to all.


You cannot take away his achievements at the club over the last 27 years. He won more premier league titles than anyone else. He also won the FA Cup five times and the European Champions League twice.


From a club managerial point of view this is unprecedented. From the supporter’s point of view, this is a phenomenal record and is unlikely to be repeated.


However, he won’t be missed by all.


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Referee Ricardo Portillo dead after player assault.

b2ap3_thumbnail_refereeRiccardo-Portillo.jpgThe shocking and disturbing news in the last couple of days of the death of a soccer referee in Salt Lake City leaves us all sad, numb and in disbelief


The referee, Ricardo Portillo, 46 died in hospital where he was being treated following the assault on Saturday night last.


A 17-year-old player who punched the referee after he gave him a yellow card was arrested.


A daughter of the late Mr Portillo said she had been told by witnesses that the player hit her father on the side of the head “when he was writing down his notes.”


This is not the first time that a referee has been attacked and killed by thugs masquerading as soccer players.


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