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When will MLS step in and stop referee abuse?!

Beckerman confronts referee GrajedaIt goes without saying that match officials of any stripes – but particularly soccer referees – will, at some point in their careers, face abusive behavior.  This abuse can come from various sources, including players, coaches, parents and/or fans.  It occurs in low level games, even those involving kids, and at the highest levels.  Abuse can take many forms such as offensive language, veiled and explicit threats and physical assaults resulting in injuries and even deaths.  Sadly, such abusive behavior is becoming more common place than we would like to admit and major leagues and soccer governing organizations would like to acknowledge.  Facing little or no support from their local, regional or even national referee organizations, many referees believe that such abuse is simply part of their job description and “deal” with it on their own or simply accept it.  AND THEY SHOULD NOT!


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USSF & PRO politicians keep out of our game and stop interfering with the Laws of the Game!

Salazar Shows Martins Red CardLaw 5 of the FIFA Laws of the Game states quite clearly, “the decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play, including whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match, are final.” I highlighted that particular part for a specific reason.


It goes on to state, “the referee may only change a decision on realising that it is incorrect or, at his discretion, on the advice of an assistant referee or the fourth official, provided that he has not restarted play or terminated the match.”


Now I think that is pretty clear. So I ask myself these questions:

What part of that do soccer administrators NOT understand?

Is there anything confusing about the wording?
Why are soccer politicians interfering with the Laws of the Game?


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Soccer illiterate coaches must learn the Laws of the Game.

Mike PetkeIt never ceases to amaze me the lack of knowledge shown by coaches and managers, and television commentators for that matter, when it comes to the FIFA Laws of the Game.


In a recent MLS game between New York Red Bulls and Columbus Crew, the Red Bulls manager appears to have lost all sense of self control with his rather childish, but potentially dangerous and inflammatory outburst.


Mike Petke became so incensed after a penalty kick was awarded against his team that he launched into a tirade of childish petulance that is no good for him or for the game we all love so much


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Referees - just do your job!

Johnson kneeRecently I sat down and watched some highlights of games from the MLS on ESPN.


I live in the Emerald Isle or the Republic of Ireland as we are formally known.


With the advent of satellite it’s great that we are able to access sport from other countries around the world.


I’ve spent a long time both on the field of play with the whistle, and off the field of play as an administrator and coach and mentor to up-and-coming referees up to, and including, World cup level.


It’s interesting to see how other referees perform (and I am specifically talking about refereeing).

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Referee Toledo’s Major League Soccer season begins with two controversial decisions.

Houston Dynamo v. DC UnitedThe 2013 Major League Soccer season began today and, unfortunately, it did not begin well for referee Baldomero Toledo. In the 38th minute of the game between Houston Dynamo and DC United, Mr. Toledo made a crucial mistake and awarded a penalty kick to Houston Dynamo even though the foul was committed outside of the penalty area. The fast developing action that led to Mr. Toledo’s error began with DC United’s center back Brandon McDonald losing his footing and Houston’s Ricardo Clark pouncing after the loose ball. As Clark was sprinting towards the goal, another DC United defender, Chris Korb, tried desperately to catch up to speedy Clark.  Just as Clark was about to enter the penalty area and unleash his shot, Korb extended his leg and clipped Clark’s shooting leg, knocking him off balance and down to the ground.  Mr. Toledo pointed to the spot.


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