HISTORY Referees in football were first described by Richard Mulcaster in 1851. He advocated the use of a “judge over the parties”. In the modern era, referees were first used in English public school football games, notably Eton football in 1845. A match report from Rochdale in 1842 shows their use in a football game between the Bodyguards Club and the Fearnought Club. In the early years of the codified sport, it was assumed that disputes could be adequately settled by discussion between the gentlemen players who would never deliberately commit a foul, however, as play became more competitive the need for officials grew. Initially there existed two umpires, one per team, who could be appealed to with the referee (the game’s timekeeper) being “referred” to if the umpires couldn’t agree. The promotion of referees to the dominant position they occupy today, and the reformation of umpires into the linesmen role, occurred as part of a major restructuring of the laws in 1891.
Whether it is a school league or a top professional league or world cup Referees are always under mega microscope where every decision and actions are minutely analysed and discussed
INTRODUCTION Referee’s performances are always under intense scrutiny and they are one of the major talking points after every match at all levels. Referees are one of the most important actors of football and they have the toughest tasks at hand as a judge of each match where they have to pronounce the judgement instantly not once but many times, even 100 times in a match. The referee’s community must be applauded for their courage, commitment, sincerity, being in these high-pressure situations, their conviction, and their focus on beautiful games. What they do, day in and day out for football is simply mindboggling when we analyze the high-pressure work environment they are in. They are abused and sometimes even physically abused, and there are cases when referees have suffered life-threatening physical violence and even deaths. REFEREE TRAINING PROGRAMS In many parts of the world now there are better referee training and development programs to produce top-quality referees and in some countries, there are already full-time professional referees on the payrolls of associations. More and more efforts and programs are being designed and implemented to produce top-class referees
Courtesy AFC “theafcdotcom”
Referees have split seconds to decide based on what they see with their naked eyes but others all around have an advantage in analyzing their decisions with the assistance of a third eye and technology Research and development in the area of refereeing would require greater attention and more studies have to be commissioned to further improve Refereeing development and training (scientifically) as the game tempo has increased and thus referees physical demands have gone up. These days referees have to be super fit to stay with the match tempo till and beyond 120 minutes. Referee trio models are also helping to improve refereeing performance as the combination and coordination among referees and assistant referees are constantly showing improvement. Technology (communication devices) is also helping to improve performance by referees Referees are expected to perform as machines with precision during a game but we forget they are humans and are bound to make mistakes and errors or even blunders. Players and coaches do make mistakes and blunders but at the time of analyzing referees’ performance, we forget that after all they are humans and they are not machines. ADDITIONAL TECHNOLOGIES At the highest level the addition of goal-line technology is a great support system for Referees and if the referral system comes into force within the next few years then it will further ease the pressure on Referees. CHALLENGING ENVIRONMENT With increasing investment into football the stakes are only going up and with this scenario, the pressure is only building on referees. It is a highly challenging scenario for Referees; fans, media, team, players, coaches, pundits, owners, etc. do create a huge pressure situation for Referees and it is only the level of training and mental toughness of referees that helps them to take this pressure positively and perform optimally at each match
Referees contribution to the game is immense and it is important to recognise their significant contribution to the game. Majority of referees all over the world take up refereeing for pure passion, as part of their love towards the game and the world requires more and more referees to join the game