Ref4Me

England vs Ivory Coast

Justylove

Premium Member
Premium Member
Level 4 Referee
There was a story doing the rounds about the whole sending off for swearing situation, where a ref was stood next to a player at kick off and blew his whistle, to which the player said "f**k me ref, that whistle is bloody loud!" closely followed by the referee producing a red card.

I agree with @ChasObserverRefDeveloper around the general language element, that's a problem but a different story, however as we all see on the TV there is clear OFFINABUS and dissent that goes unpunished. Start with that and go from there.

I think we're all complicit as referees. I recently sent a player off for OFFINABUS for screaming "you f***ing little c**t" in an opposing players face (twice). There was a referee at a higher level than me that as the offending player was already on a yellow card, it would have been an easier 'sell' to second yellow him for AA than go straight red and that would have protected my club marks. Manager of the offending players team asked me why i didn't second yellow as well and it undoubtedly impacted my club marks for the game.

Coming out of the game I feel like I won the battle but lost the war. It's not right, as letter of the law says I'm correct, but expectations and reactions said I'm wrong.
 
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Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
There was a story doing the rounds about the whole sending off for swearing situation, where a ref was stood next to a player at kick off and blew his whistle, to which the player said "f**k me ref, that whistle is bloody loud!" closely followed by the referee producing a red card.

I agree with @ChasObserverRefDeveloper around the general language element, that's a problem but a different story, however as we all see on the TV there is clear OFFINABUS and dissent that goes unpunished. Start with that and go from there.

I think we're all complicit as referees. I recently sent a player off for OFFINABUS for screaming "you f***ing little c**t" in an opposing players face (twice). There was a referee at a higher level than me that as the offending player was already on a yellow card, it would have been an easier 'sell' to second yellow him for AA than go straight red and that would have protected my club marks. Manager of the offending players team asked me why i didn't second yellow as well and it undoubtedly impacted my club marks for the game.

Coming out of the game I feel like I won the battle but lost the war. It's not right, as letter of the law says I'm correct, but expectations and reactions said I'm wrong.
That's all because the 'expectation' stems from what's seen on tv
 

markref

Well-Known Member
Level 5 Referee
Many years ago I refereed a sunday league game on a school pitch which had a school fair going on all round it. When I called the captains in for the coin toss I told them "look lads, there's a fair here today. Please can you ask your players to keep the language down, because I'll have to deal with it!" One of the captains turned round and shouted to his team "Oi lads! Ref says no f***ing swearing today okay!" And he wasn't joking! It was an interesting game - I didn't have to send anyone off that game because they were reasonable teams, but I had to do a lot of reminding....

About twenty years ago the Kent League (step 5) told us all that anyone who swore must be sent off, and we would be severely marked down if we failed to send off for foul or abusive language. There was an appeal to the FA and I don't think it lasted the full season. I believe the clubs voted for it at the AGM but when it came to it they didn't want it to be enforced.

I've seen it from the other side because several of us went to Barcelona for a mate's stag do, which included watching a Barca home game. Ronaldinho was the top player in the world at the time and we were keen to see him in action. We were behind one of the goals, but the place is so big that we saw a speck in the distance score a goal at the other end, then soon after obviously say something to the referee and get sent off - it could have been anyone. We wanted to see a real superstar play in front of us and all we saw was an ant in Barcelona kit get sent off from long distance and it did spoil the game for us, so I can see why they don't want to deal with it.

However, when you're doing a game at the level most of us do you don't want to be abused so if they don't do anything at the top then it won't change at the bottom. A couple of weeks ago I had to deal with one of the benches and when I told him to stop swearing or I'd deal with him he told me "It's only sunday league! It's not the f***ing Premier league!"
 

Peter Grove

RefChat Addict
The only way to do it would be to make swearing an automatic red card.
That's a totally unworkable "solution." Firstly, as you yourself alluded to, it's impossible to get an agreed list of what is and isn't a swear word, and I'm only talking about English.

Football is an international game so you couldn't say it's only an offence to swear in English. So then you'd have to have someone compile and maintain a comprehensive list of every swear word in every language - and all referees for international games would have to be able to memorize (and recognize) them.

Also, even in English-speaking countries, the same word can be considered as more or less acceptable in some and totally beyond the pale in others. It would be similar in the many different Spanish-speaking, French-speaking or Arabic-speaking countries, to give just three examples.

What is considered a swear word also changes over time. Some words that were considered to be swear words in the past are not thought you be so today and the same will very likely be true about some words today, in the future. So the lists would have to be updated but again, who gets to decide when a word is no longer a swear word?

As I say - totally unworkable.
 
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Ben448844

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
That's a totally unworkable "solution." Firstly, as you yourself alluded to, it's impossible to get an agreed list of what is and isn't a swear word, and I'm only talking about English.

Football is an international game so you couldn't say it's only an offence to swear in English. So then you'd have to have someone compile and maintain a comprehensive list of every swear word in every language - and all referees for international games would have to be able to memorize (and recognize) them.

Also, even in English-speaking countries, the same word can be considered as more or less acceptable in some and totally beyond the pale in others. It would be similar in the many different Spanish-speaking, French-speaking or Arabic-speaking countries, to give just three examples.

What is considered a swear word also changes over time. Some words that were considered to be swear words in the past are not thought you be so today and the same will very likely be true about some words today, in the future. So the lists would have to be updated but again, who gets to decide when a word is no longer a swear word?

As I say - totally unworkable.

O I never suggested for a second it was workable, I stated it would never happen. I just sugeat3d that it would be the only way to seriously crack down on OFFINABUS. Let's be honest, as referees the majority of us are going to look the other way or manage alot of dissent in the game as to deal with it as per the LOTG would make our life's incredibly difficult.

It's a cultural issue. It's deeply engrained in our sport and any measures to remove it would have to be incredibly tough with no wiggle room but like i said, it will never happen.
 
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