Friday 11 June 2010

Foul and Abusive [English] Language

One consequence of the overblown media circus surrounding England is the reaction and response from the general football community towards England’s actions. The latest reaction is news that World Cup referees, who are not native English speakers, are learning English swear words (see below).

FIFA spokesman Alex Stone is quoted as saying:
“There was no requirement for referees to know obscenities in languages other than English.”

Part of the fun in learning about different cultures is the local use of colourful obscenities, otherwise why travel if not to help broaden one’s knowledge?

[England's Wayne Rooney hurling an "English obscenity" at the referee, earlier this week. Pic courtesy Michael Regan/Getty Images]

World Cup referees learning English swear words (Associated Press)
Thu Jun 10, 2010

The Brazilian referee and his assistants who will work the England-United States match at the World Cup have been studying English-language obscenities the players might use.

Carlos Simon will referee Saturday's match in Rustenburg, assisted by Roberto Braatz and Altemir Hausmann. They want to ensure players can't get away with abuse.

"We have to learn what kind of words the players say," Hausmann told Brazilian broadcaster Globo Sport. "All players swear and we know we will hear a few."

Braatz says they aren't learning them in "11 different languages, but at least we have to know the swear words in English."

FIFA denied reports that match officials have been given lists of swear words to listen for, but did say proficiency in English was a requirement for referees and assistants working the World Cup.

In addition, refereeing officials briefed all teams about the rules, including the potential for players to be cautioned or sent off for abusive language or gestures.

"There should not be any surprises to any members of the teams," FIFA spokesman Alex Stone said.

Stone said there was no requirement for referees to know obscenities in languages other than English.

Wayne Rooney received a yellow card during England's warmup match against South African club Platinum Stars on Monday for swearing at the referee.

"In this day and age I think it's important to show the referees some respect," England captain Steven Gerrard said. "You don't use any language because then you'll be booked and the whole team suffers. You don't want to fall into that trap ...

"We've had experience of losing big players at important times."

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