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6 reasons why it is hard to be a referee in modern football

FEATURED WRITER
Top 5 / Top 10
7.74K   //    Timeless

Being the law-enforcer is a hard job. Be it the police or the referee in a football game; making sure that the people adhere to the rules can be as hard a job as it gets.Given the way crime has increased in the last few decades, the need for more – and efficient – law enforcers has become a must. Despite that, they find it hard to contain the law-breakers.Similarly, in football, it is hard to be a referee. The game, along with the world, has evolved over the years and being an official is a tougher job than many people think and here are some reasons why.  

#1 Increased intensity

Referee training football
The pace of the modern game demands referees also to be quick on their feet

Football in the past century was slower than it is now. In fact, the intensity of the game these days is, at times, incomprehensible. The emphasis teams put in their players is to attack with haste, reach the opponent’s goal within a few seconds, rather than slowly build the game with a string of passes.

Football in the 20th century was classical music, now it is like extreme metal.

And this has made life a bit harder for the referees with bit being an understatement. They have to be on the move constantly, from one box to another, to and fro, while being completely aware of the happenings of the game.


#2 Advancement in technology

technology football referees
Technology has changed football and redefined the role of referee

This point might raise the eyebrows of many readers, but a deeper look at this would reveal the reason for this point’s existence.

Technology is ever-improving. These days, there are multiple camera angles and very, very slow motion replays to go with them. While this has a massive advantage, the margin for error for the officials become almost non-existent as a single tiny error falls into the limelight due to technology showing its superiority.

And then the referees become the subject of severe criticism as a result of this. Hence, the officials must always be on their toes – which is a good thing – thus making their jobs much harder. But if they don’t, then they face severe criticism.

#3 Social media rage

Twitter facebook technology football
Any decision is scrutinized and referees are abused many times on social media platforms 
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This is the age of social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr rule the internet and about one-thirds of the world’s population can be found in one or more of these sites.

So when a referee makes a mistake – and technology makes sure that it doesn’t go unnoticed – then majority of the social media users lose their minds, especially if their team was on the end of the suffering part of the wrong decision.

From troll memes to immense amount of abuse, the referees have to become the subject of many atrocities of the social media if they, God forbid, make a game-changing error. Believe it or not, referees are human beings as well and the outrage affects them more negatively than many are aware of.

#4 Modern journalism

Arsenal chelsea
Once Andre Marriner had accidentally sent off Kieran Gibbs which made headlines everywhere

While technology is at its pinnacle, journalism is at the polar end of anything that is a synonym to that. As much as people like us hate to admit it, we live in a time where selling papers and getting hits is the primary concern for any news outlet – commercialism has eaten into the very core of it.

No longer do genuinely read-worthy news or articles appeal the mass, instead it’s about what sells: people are more interested in what underwear a player wears rather than how he tactically influenced a game.

And the referees also have to pay for this. A single mistake and it becomes the headline of almost every news outlet, making the official the main talking point of the game – because controversy sells more than anything else.

#5 Diving

Ashley Young Referee diving
Some players trick the referees with simulation and getting the decision absolutely right is a hard task

Over the years, this dark art of football has taken a firm grip over the game. Many players have become pioneers of it and try it every now and then, infuriating the fans and making life hell for the officials.

From Cristiano Ronaldo to Luis Suarez, this is a ‘skill’ that can be truly defined as anti-football as it has nothing to do with football – but everything to do with Oscar-worthy acting.

The rule is that if a player is caught simulating, he must be shown a yellow card. So when a referee fails to catch a player dive, or cards an innocent one, trouble finds its way to them. This is the hardest thing for a referee to notice as some players are so good at faking a foul that football seems like a wrong career choice for them.

#6 Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho does not shy away from criticizing referees when decisions don’t go in his team’s favour

The terror of referees. When an official is officiating a game where his team plays, they have to make sure that they give extra attention otherwise their souls will be ripped apart in the post-match press conference.

Whenever a wrong decision goes in favour of the opposition, it can be set in stone that conspiracy theories will be flying around from the mouth of the Portuguese – that the world is against him and doesn’t want his team to do well.

However, when a decision is in his favour, he ‘doesn’t see it’ and everything is great about how the world works. So officials looking over a Mourinho team are literally officiating with hearts in their mouths.

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FEATURED WRITER
Writing was just a hobby I picked to escape from the stress of A-levels. And now, it is exactly what pays my bills every month. Write for multiple platforms with interest in both football and cricket. Have a tendency to be on the dark side.
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