The verbal attack by Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers on referee Lee Mason after recent top-of-the-table clash with Manchester City is not only unfortunate, but also ill advised.
The outburst was prompted by, it has to be said, a very poor offside decision given against a Liverpool player who was clean through on goal. The slow motion action replay shows the players was clearly onside by at least 2 yards.
One can understand the frustration of the Reds boss, but to label the referee “biased” because of the geographical location of his abode is surely unfair.
I watched the game live and, apart from this very contentious offside, I thought the match officials were good.
I would, however, critique their performance, and especially the referee’s, for not picking up the amount of pushing, shoving, and shirt pulling that was going on in the respective penalty areas throughout the entire game.
Both sides were at it with Skrtel of Liverpool and Kompany of City the biggest offenders.
I thought referee Lee Mason gave some excellent advantages to both teams when other referees would have blown for a free kick. The decisions that he DID give were spot on. The ones that SHOULD HAVE been given were questionable at the very least.
It’s very important to remember that a referee has only one chance to see, decide and punish an incident. They don’t have the luxury of action replays. They don’t have the advantage of slow motion. They don’t have the comfort of a dressing room in a relaxed atmosphere to sit in judgement of incidents like the press and managers have.
They also don’t have the right of reply to accusations and allegations, many of them unfair and biased, levelled against them and their decisions by players and managers who sometimes spout out their “venom” in the heat of the moment when they should rather cool down and give the issue a little more perspective.
Mr. Rogers says “we had no help from the officials. They were horrendous. We never got any decisions for us. The linesman for the offside one – they’re not even on the same cut of grass.”
Well Mr. Rogers, according to the photo (see below) the linesman is perfectly in line with the second last defender (the last usually being the goalkeeper) which is where he is supposed to be.
In a recent BBC Match Of The Day (MOTD) survey of refereeing decisions in the English Premier League it was found that referees got 94% of decisions right, that’s 94 out of 100 for the uninitiated or those lacking in the basic Laws of the Game.
That is not a bad record. How many players get 94% of decisions right? How many managers/coaches get 94% of their decisions right? How many of the aforementioned know 94% of the FIFA laws of the Game?
Comment, if you will, on decisions made by match officials. Criticize them when you don’t get a perceived free kick for your team, but don’t accuse a referee of being “biased” because he comes from a particular location in the country of his birth.
Most referees are decent individuals who live by a strict unwritten, personal code of ethics and do a very difficult job with little, and sometimes, no reward.
It’s played and controlled by humans, and humans get it wrong sometimes. That’s the nature of the game.
If you have a better alternative the let’s hear it.