The moment has arrived, the decision has been taken, and the name has been announced.
The “middle-man” for this years FA cup final between Arsenal and Aston Villa is Jon Moss.
The 44-year-old from Sunderland in the northeast of England will take charge of his first FA cup final at Wembley stadium in London, England on the 30th May this year.
To all referees out there I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that feeling when your name is announced at being in charge of the cup final, regardless of what level of competition it is. It’s just the most fantastic feeling.
Now here’s the “down-side” to this announcement.
Former EPL referee Mark Halsey has criticised the decision to appoint Mr. Moss saying the aforementioned is a “political pawn” whose appointment “doesn’t make any sense.”
Mr Halsey who only retired recently is scathing in his attack on the Professional Games Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), which is the USA equivalent of the PRO for making this appointment. He feels that Mark Clattenburg is currently the number one in the EPL and is more deserving of the honour.
Mr. Halsey went on to say “I would imagine that Jon Moss will feel a little bit sheepish that he doesn’t really deserve it and Mark Clattenburg does.”
He went on to allege that certain figures at the FA do not want Mr. Clattenburg to officiate at next years Euro’s and are seeking to project that message the 40-year-old “is not our top ref.”
When contacted for comment the PGMOL said that the appointment is made by the FA and directed all queries to them.
Two things I have a problem with here.
Firstly, the PGMOL are talking rubbish. The have full charge of all referees and refereeing matters. They make the appointments for all professional games and this is just one more. Yes it’s a Cup Final and the “blue ribbon” event of the year, as is every cup final, but nevertheless, just another game.
Secondly, I don’t like to hear of former referees openly and blatantly criticizing current referees. I have no problem with constructive advice but not open criticism. It smacks of bitchiness and jealousy.
I’m not saying that Mr. Moss had the greatest season this past year. I am also not saying that he is world class, but he has been given the honor and let him enjoy it.
In most competitions the person selected for a final has to be able to do his job – of that there is no doubt. But the final is also given to a referee coming to the end of his career and this would appear to be one of those occasions.
There is an old saying that “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”
In my opinion this would appear to be the case here as far as Mark Halsey is concerned.
Mr. Halsey wasn’t world class himself so:
- Why is he criticising a fellow ref?
- What gives him the authority to make such assertions about a fellow match official?
- Did he look at himself in the mirror recently?
- Does he remember his own career when he was, in my opinion, not the “brightest star in the sky”?
I would ask people to get off the back of Mr. Moss and let him enjoy his cup final.
It’s an occasion he will remember for the rest of his life as many of us who have refereed national cup finals have.
To Jon Moss I say, go for it Jon. Do your best and enjoy the day. It will be something to tell your grand-children about.
Put your detractors at the back of your mind. Don’t even read these negative comments or it might unnerve you.
You still have a few weeks to soak up the atmosphere of the upcoming event.
Just focus on the day. Remember that although it is a cup final and a very important game, it is still just another game of 90 minutes and perhaps extra time. If you keep that in mind and forget about what’s at stake you will be fine.
Best of luck.