Saturday 22 August 2009

English FA Condemns Referee Intimidation

It's good to know that the English FA appear to be serious about their new rules governing pre-match comments. They will be asking Roy Keane, manager of Ipswich Town in the Championship, to explain his comments about match officials when his team played host to Crystal Palace a few days after Crystal Palace were disallowed a goal. On 16 August 2009, Crystal Palace were denied a goal when referee Rob Shoebridge inexplicably did not see the ball cross the goal line between the goalposts and under the crossbar.

[Roy Keane may be charged with improper conduct]

Here's what Keane said:
"We might have to remind the officials before the game that it is a new game. I usually go in an hour before with the team-sheet. Hopefully I won't need to remind them because they are professional and weren't involved in that [Bristol City v Crystal Palace match] over the weekend. It shouldn't be an issue."

Having captained teams for Sir Alex Ferguson, Keane will know the value of giving officials a psychological nudge. Ferguson would regularly call for a 'strong ref ' ahead of big games. Others have done it too and David Moyes even suggested referee Mike Riley might be a Manchester United fan.

Intimidation of referees, be they psychological, physical or otherwise, is to be condemned. This is why referees are highly skeptical in believing what anyone (managers, coaches, players, football fans, etc) says to them.

Related Links:
Alex Ferguson on Michael Ballack: Revisited
Alex Ferguson on Michael Ballack

FA cracks down on referee intimidation as managers banned from talking about officials before games
Roy Keane in trouble for remarks about referee ahead of Palace clash
Blunder ref Rob Shoebridge gets a few weeks off after Crystal Palace 'goal' fiasco

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