With the advent of the new season – already we have debates arising over the conduct of players and managers concerning footballing officials. Alan Pardew’s activities in Newcastle’s opening game of the season against Tottenham Hotspur unquestionably undermined the new ‘Respect’ campaign launched by the FA.
The Newcastle manager pushed the back of an assistant referee during the match after he disagreed with a judgment made by the referee during the contest. Pardew’s punishment consisted of a two-match ban and a £20,000 fine, both of which he accepted gracefully; describing his own actions as 'ridiculous'. Many believe he should have been punished more harshly.
Although Pardew’s actions cannot be justified, these types of incidents are unfortunately not as rare as they should be within the beautiful game.
GMF takes a look at five of the most shocking incidents of official abuse around the globe, with a particular selection still playing a prominent role in the memories of many Premier League fans!
1) The Argentinian fifth division hosted an incident of shock as players from both Union San Guillermo and Atletico Tostado pounced onto the referee - in mob-like culture assaulting the South American official. The players didn’t just chase the referee out of the pitch, but entirely out of the park!
2) South America features prominently in these selections, as Volante Derlon helps continue the trend. His actions in a Brazilian league game contested by Iranduba and Sao Raimundo is surely one of the most outrageous instances of violence on a football field. Look out for the sudden bull-like charge!
3) The last of the South American contributions comes from Chile. Here we see a throttle on a referee from behind, followed by a series of attempts by one player to have a physical encounter with the official. Here his team-mates seem to have more sense and look to dilute the incident to some success.
4) Iran is where this episode originates. A substitute clearly disagrees with a decision made by the referee, and it is not long until the whole team, coaching staff and stadium officials enter the brawl – even the army make an appearance!
5) The final entry comes from a Premier League favourite. Famously known for his sporting behavior – towards other players. Unfortunately the referee in this instance, Paul Alcock, did not receive the Italian’s usual charm. I don’t know if the push from Paolo di Canio, the now Swindon Town manager, required such an extravagant fall from Alcock, however, that is what it received.
Mockery aside, these instances of footballing violence, especially the examples shown from South Amercia and Iran, should under no circumstances be tolerated within the game of football.
Although in English football we have never seen instances of official violence that compares to that of foreign climates, the abuse that referees receive of a gamely basis must be curtailed. Otherwise the 7000 referees that currently leave the game every year will only be set to rise.