SPORTS RANTS: Football officiation, the unchecked controversy

With Christopher Njeula:

….The trouble with the referees is that they know the rules, but they do not know the game …. (Unknown)

At the blow of the last whistle, as the 22 athletes exit the stage, there is, on numerous occasions a wave of discontent and disbelief.

Elsewhere, the four officiating men usually line up at the middle of the pack to receive hearty shakes from the athletes for the gallant show, ours end like a movie D-Day of a marriage collapse.

‘Mwadyetsedwa inu’…’Tidzaonana Timu yanuyi nayo iyenda’ Iwe wachidoso ngati ng’azi tisadzakumane’…..The anger is wielded nilly-willy, without any reservations towards the men of the whistle, who are always surrounded by men in uniform.

Inside the field play, Technical panels are seen rushing to the fourth official in protest of any purported decision deemed incorrect. The sequence happens across the fields of play, through and through.

We may recite until dawn, the numerous occasions that threw our game into serious troubles because of purported incorrect decisions by men in the middle. The polemic saga has never left the stage. A multi-million question that requires a billion bags answer is-Where do we go wrong?

We adversely admit that the referees make errors during games, worrisomely; other errors are very obvious and basic. Where 12 players are fielded in a professional game, and the referee never notices, is to say the least, a mockery to the game.

The game of football is dictated by the rules of the game that the officiating men execute in the course of play. Such laws are technical in nature, and are given a technical interpretation as events unfold. In all fairness, and logical comprehension, it means all other stakeholders need to understand the basic application of the rules, to make an informed critique.

The wielding of the anger may be given reservations, should stakeholders understand the basics of the law of the game.

We may no longer see the endless ques towards the fourth official in our matches, all protesting incorrect decisions, because they will finally understand that the role of the fourth official is not to receive entreaties of incorrect decisions.

Where do we go wrong? The recruitment of our referees must be given a proper dosage of scrutiny. The physical tests are very necessary, but they must be complimented with mental test.

The laws of the game requires an intellectual interpretation, not everyone who runs faster can have the badge.

We have successfully, subjected our game to unwarranted controversy, where insinuations of bribery and corruption have been dangled in the necks of our officiating team. It is high time that governing authorities put proper remedies to this cancerous atmosphere round the beautiful game. It is now or never! We rant off!

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