Leading by example - By Terry Allday, Secretary, Vale of Glamorgan Referees Society
7:50am Thursday 3rd January 2013 in Sport
DID Sir Alex Ferguson abuse his power when he came onto the field during the Manchester United v Newcastle game, when match referee Mike Dean and his assistants awarded Newcastle a goal?
The goal, in accordance with the Laws of the Game the goal was awarded correctly.
Law 11 states that the Offence of Offside is when a player, in an offside position, is only penalised if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by:
• interfering with play (playing or touching the ball passed by a team-mate)
• interfering with an opponent (preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly or distracting an opponent) or
• gaining an advantage by being in that position (playing a ball that rebounds to him off a goalpost, crossbar or opponent having been in an offside position).
It is disappointing if a person of Sir Alex’s stature does not understand the Laws.
However, just as disappointingly, referee Mike Dean and his team did not report the matter so no further action is to be taken.
Under Law 5 – the Powers and Duties of a Referee, the referee should ensure that no unauthorised persons enter the field of play, suspend the match because of outside interference of any kind and take action against team officials who fail to conduct themselves in a responsible manner (and may, at his discretion, expel them from the field of play and its immediate surrounds).
Finally the Referee is to provide the appropriate authorities with a match report, which includes information on any disciplinary action taken team officials and any other incidents that occurred before, during or after the match.
Now I would say entering the field of play without the Referees permission is a flagrant breaking of the Laws. It was all on TV for everyone to see.
Effectively no-one is to enter the field of play unless authorised by the Referee – that includes the trainers to treat injuries.
But what about parks referees? They have no Assistant Referees or 4th Officials to help. No TV highlights.
It can be commonplace for the team's “physio” to assume that it’s their right to race onto the field with their first aid bag of sprays and potions – it used to be a bucket of dirty water and sponge!
Often team managers feel they have the right to complain any dubious decision made by the referee - after all the managers do on TV!
What happens locally? They get expelled and reported. Sadly in many cases they are following by example – in the same way that managers and coaches should set examples of behaviour to their players.
On Referee Courses we outline the need to act clearly, correctly and within the Laws – unfortunately players, managers, coaches and team supporters don’t often end up with fines and bans.
Football is an emotive game. But, importantly, these emotions also need to be kept in check. Leading by example is the key. Sir Alex needs to remember that.
The VoGRS wish everyone a Happy New Year.