But here in sunny Scotland match officials in another sport are in the news. Referees in Scottish Football have had enough and intend to strike this weekend. Good on them, says FB. How anyone would willingly put themselves through what they encounter week in week out is beyond FB’s conception of masochism. FB cannot comprehend why football tolerates institutionalised dissent as part of the game. Players openly abuse the ref after every decision. Managers are vitriolic in post match interviews. Clubs smugly join in. In Scotland there is the added excrescence of the Old Firm who think they are entitled to win everything and nurse historic grudges. And it all percolates down to the junior and amateur game where players imitate these behaviours. Tragic.
Without the laws there is no game. If refs just raised the yellow card every time dissent happened things would soon change. Other games take a harder line. Rugby for instance, where the slightest bit of backchat leads to an instant 10 yard penalty. Cricket too – at least at the top level where shows of dissent are heavily punished. Although in club cricket things go off now and then as some dismissed batter thinks he is a footballer and reacts. Cricket of course has other problems but generally dissent this is not one of them.
Without the laws there is no game. FB wishes good luck to all the match officials during the series. It could not happen without them.