Thursday 21 June 2018

Remember This About Shirt Swapping?

Back in June 2012, Pierluigi Collina promoted swapping shirts ... even between referees and players. It was a terrible idea then (as mentioned before) and remains a terrible idea to this day.

The upshot? USA World Cup referee Mark Geiger was accused by Morocco player Nordin Amrabat of "asking for Cristiano Ronaldo's shirt". Obviously there are "sour grapes" because Morocco lost to Portugal and subsequently after two matches Morocco are knocked out of the World Cup.

FIFA has released a strong statement that "unequivocally condemns the allegations [by Amrabat]" and that American referee Geiger "has acted in an exemplary and professional manner."

How ironic then that Collina, who is also chairman of the FIFA World Cup Referees, has previously promoted shirt swapping by referees. Collina himself was a collector of players' shirts during his time as a referee.

2 June 2012

Not Convinced About Collina in Respect Campaign

Here's the lead sentence from UEFA's social responsibility programme:
"Swapping shirts at the end of a match is a symbol of respect between opponents."

And here we see a famous Referee swapping shirts with a famous player:

Pierluigi Collina and Karem Benzema. Pic from UEFA.

Question 1: Does the Referee regard the player as an 'opponent'?

Question 2: Do Referees really exchange jerseys with players?

I am unconvinced about this latest respect campaign from UEFA.* UEFA claim that "Pierluigi Collina and Karem Bezema exchange jerseys as a mark of Respect". This is an incorrect and illogical claim. Also, Collina has previously admitted to not being able to give away his Referee shirts in exchange for players' shirts because he said Referees are never given enough shirts in the first place.

Instead, UEFA Referees' Chief Pierluigi Collina has a reputation for collecting famous football players' shirts without exchanging his own and even got Graham Poll hooked on this habit. Poll famously wrote in his autobiography about his unabashed attempt at making sure he was standing next to Zinedine Zidane when he blew up for full time, just so that he could be the first to 'claim' the great Zizou's jersey. How pathetic. This makes a mockery of the integrity, credibility and neutrality of Referees. Referees should not be seen to swap shirts with players with whom they are officiating matches with.

This blog admires Collina for his performance and dedication to Refereeing. However, this blog does not agree with some of Collina's practices such as the habit of encouraging Referees to swap shirts with famous players that they have officiated. It is hypocritical of Collina to promote this campaign. Also, it is by definition unethical.