Bad weekend for referees

Jeff Winter

When I was refereeing, the management always told us that our main aim was to get the big decisions right.

Unfortunately this weekend there were a few occasions when that did not happen.

The most high-profile incident came at Stamford Bridge, where referee Anthony Taylor made the cardinal sin of momentarily turning his back on play as Chelsea took on Cardiff City.

Perhaps it was understandable, as he made for the likely dropping zone of the ball, but with Chelsea’s Samuel Eto’o  in the vicinity of the Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall, Taylor should have been keeping an eye on them.

It may be confusing to some but Eto’o stealing possession as Marshall prepared to kick the ball was against the laws of the game. A goalkeeper, even when bouncing the ball is still deemed to be in control of it.

Eto’o’s challenge was not an unsafe challenge, but it was illegal. The goal should not have stood and I would not be at all surprised if both the referee and his assistant were stepped down for next week’s Premier League fixtures.

Then at Goodison Park, neither the referee nor the assistant referee noticed that Everton’s Gareth Barry got the faintest of touches on a shot from outside the box that was probably heading for the Hull City net anyway.

Barry was in an offside position. If he does not interfere or distract the goalkeeper then the goal stands, but it should have been disallowed.

To add further amusement to the situation, we then saw Barry caught on camera celebrating the goal and telling his team-mate Ross Barkley that he touched it, before appearing on television saying the opposite.

In fact Barry was the centre of attention as he also made two terrible tackles that should have seen him sent off. He didn’t get a yellow card for the first, but for the second he did and in truth it could have been a straight red anyway.

And the bad weekend for referees was further highlighted by a penalty appeal that should have been given at the Britannia Stadium, where Charlie Adam caught the heels of West Bromwich Albion midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu in the Stoke City box.

There was definitely no intent but there does not have to be. It was a penalty and referee Howard Webb and his assistant did not see it, raising the issue once more of why we do not have extra officials on the goal-line.

Jeff Winter

 

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