Monday 13 August 2012

Players' Behaviour Lacks Community Spirit

The following incident occurred during the Community Shield between Chelsea and Manchester City on Sunday 12 August 2012. The match finished 2—3, with 1 RC and 8 YCs.

In the 42', a loose ball is challenged by Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic (blue 2) and fellow Serbian Aleksandar Kolarov (red 13) of Manchester City. Here are the freeze frames:

Here's the Referee's angle:
Referee Kevin Friend (black) has a good angle of the incident

What I find interesting is the way some players react and behave. Take a look at the disrespectful behaviour of Chelsea's Ramires (blue 7) who had a very similar view (and closer view) of the incident as Referee Kevin Friend. But Ramires' behaviour is obviously biased and not credible.

Chelsea's Ramires (blue 7) is constantly challenging and disrespecting the Referee

Ramires cannot accept the red card decision for his Chelsea team-mate. It is very likely that Ramires is not a trained referee and therefore does not understand the basics of foul challenges. 
(Note: perhaps another explanation may be found here at To Bias Is Human).

And then Juan Mata (blue 10) and Ashley Cole (blue 3) arrive on the scene to give a piece of their mind to the Referee too. These two Chelsea players (an attacker and a left back, respectively) probably didn't have a good view of the incident ... but that doesn't stop them from telling the Referee that they believe he is wrong!

Unfortunately, this is what Referees and match officials in general have to put up with everywhere around the world.

Welcome to the new season everyone and may you all have optimum officiating performances!


  1. I am going to politely disagree. Referees and match officials do not have to put up with this everywhere in the world. No they don't.

    That behaviour is dissent by word. What I saw here is so clearly dissent it is crazy. Why have the law if the officials aren't going to use it to manage the game? Any player speaks to me this way and he'll see the yellow card. Keep it up and he'll see the second yellow and be sent off.

    No official of any sport should be required to take this from any player. To be surrounded and persistently yelled at is unsporting and, in football, dissent by word. Either way, he sees a yellow.

    Until FIFA instructs their officials to caution players after this behaviour the game will continue in this direction. I, for one, will not follow this example and will continue to caution.

    In my pre-games I tell the captains (or entire teams) I won't put up with dissent, if they don't like a call tell it to their coach. I rarely get any mouth from players and when I do a single yellow card stops it for the duration of the game.

    It's dissent guys. Start calling it as such.

  2. Thank you Shotgunner. Your comments are appreciated and hopefully will keep us on our toes. I agree with you and do not condone dissent. Kevin Friend should have cautioned Ramires and reiterated to Chelsea captain John Terry to control his players.

    The post was just highlighting the behavior of professional players who, for reasons to be clarified, believe it is their right or duty to harangue referees (and therefore show dissent). One of the problems is the fact that there appears to be no consistency demonstrated by referees in such high-profile matches (for previous examples, search this blog for "harangue" or "haranguing"), which therefore makes it harder for the rest of us.

    Note: we have just learned that Ivanovic's send off will NOT result in the standard 3-match ban because the FA considers the Community Shield to be a "non-competitive pre-season fixture". With this kind of ruling, in future coaches and players will be aware of the 'dark' tactic of physically intimidating opponents because they know that any sanctions picked up during the Community Shield will have no bearing for the start of the season. Could this be the reason why there were 9 cards shown in this match?

    Because a trophy is involved and because of the relatively high-profile interest in the match, the Community Shield is by all intents and purposes a competitive fixture. Cards can sometimes be an indicator of competitiveness, and this match had 1 RC and 8 YC. The FA should consider redefining the Community Shield as a competitive fixture.

  3. [quote]One of the problems is the fact that there appears to be no consistency demonstrated by referees in such high-profile matches (for previous examples, search this blog for "harangue" or "haranguing"), which therefore makes it harder for the rest of us. [/quote]

    EXACTLY. FIFA needs to address this and many other issues at the top levels so all officials know. Then we can all stop taking cr@p from players. As soon as the players get the message, all things become easier for all of us. In my estimation, this is a serious problem. It starts at U14 U16 and gets worse the older they get.

    Why? Because they have never been told they cannot do it. FIFA, if you read this blog, give us the instruction and subsequent power to control the field!

    We'd never put up with it on a baseball field, but in soccer it seems I am expected to. Wrong.