Friday 14 August 2015

Are ex-Referee Graham Poll's Views Relevant Anymore?

With the start of the 2015-16 EPL season referee Michael Oliver, who officiated Chelsea's 2-2 draw with Swansea, demonstrated why he is possibly the best referee currently in the premiership. Ex-EPL referee Graham Poll praised Oliver but then said something that seriously jarred against modern-day refereeing principles.

Referee Michael Oliver sends off Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois for DOGSO. Pic AP.

In his column Poll said: "Michael Oliver was right to award Swansea a penalty against Chelsea... but Thibaut Courtois did not deserve a straight red card".
He based his reasoning by insisting that "For DOGSO, the ball must be heading towards goal and, as replays show, it was not."

This is a very traditional, rigid and non-progressive take on DOGSO and I do not know of any referee instructors who still stick to this, especially at the highest levels. The problem is perhaps because Graham Poll no longer teaches in refereeing circles, and therefore is no longer up to date with the best current refereeing practices. Therefore, are Poll's views about referees relevant anymore?

Thankfully, the FA review panel rejected Chelsea's ill-advised and frivolous appeal against Courtois' red card and upheld the one-match ban.

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