The one-sided outrage over player/referee relations 1

Mark Clattenburg is in the news again, this time for an alleged incident involving Southampton’s Adam Lallana. At the moment, no further information is really available on what happened, so it wouldn’t be fair to comment specifically.

Officials shouldn’t be abusive to players, that’s obvious, but there’s something very disproportionate about the reaction to this Clattenburg incident. How many times do we lip-read players abusing officials each game? And how little incredulity does that provoke?

Almost none.

I’m not for a minute saying that Adam Lallana warranted any kind of abuse from Clattenburg - if that was indeed what happened - but given how much vitriol is continually directed towards our officials, is it really any surprise that some of them eventually retaliate?

Two wrongs don’t make a right, and if guilty Clattenburg will justifiably be punished in some way, but what really needs to be recognised are the shortcomings of the RESPECT campaign - and the failure to create a more harmonious on-pitch atmosphere. Referees have to be encouraged to issue more yellow and red-cards for dissent, otherwise a genuine deterrent will never exist.

How many times can you reasonably expect an official to be told to ‘fuck off’ before he responds?

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