[Photo: AFP/Andrew Yates]
In the wake of Ashley Cole’s outburst and Javier Mascherano’s madness, bloggers and proper journos alike have been asking the question, “Should players be allowed to abuse the referee?” or something to that effect. I’d hope the obvious answer would be “No”, or “Look in the rule book, and ‘use of insulting or abusive language or actions’ is a red card offense”, but from reading message boards, blog comments, and editorials, it seems the answer isn’t clear.
As a fan, I don’t like dissent. I don’t like poor decisions either. No one is right 100% of the time (unless your name begins with “John” and ends with “Terry”) but it’s now commonplace for footballers to gather ’round the referee during a moment of decision, often berating the man long after a card is produced.
I think these “heat of the moment” type of arguments are useless and have absolutely no effect on the outcome of the decision- but I could be wrong (my name isn’t JT after all), so I pose this question to those of you in the Ether:
Has a referee ever attempted to show a player a yellow or red card, and then changed his mind after speaking with the players?
Have you ever seen this happen? Have you ever heard about something like this occurring at the highest level of the game? If so, please let me know, because that would be the only reason for Javy Mascherano’s wild exclamations at the official long after he was sent off the field.
Today, he chalked up his behaviour to one big miscommunication. Two yellow cards (or 3, if you want a cheap Graham Poll joke) = go to the dressing room for an early rubdown. That’s it. That’s all. Fin. Donzo.
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