My ref season started last week with accompanying a new, young referee. At least something I can do while being injured.
The 17-year old rookie ref was happy to see me. But to get to him I had to visit the club administration first. They were not very cooperative, to say the least. The official ‘home team’ were only using one of their pitches as their own accommodation was under construction. The host club admin were very un-cooperative and told me the ‘guest home team’ should take care of their own ‘collaterals’ like cornerflags and AR flags. Pretty ridiculous if you ask me.
The rookie ref made very clear to the receiving team he would allow them another 15mins to organise the pitch requirements. And on my advise made a phone call to the FA weekend service to get backup on this decision.
Finally everything looked ready to go. But then the away team didn’t show up for kick-off. I could see them hanging around the dressing rooms. It turned out they were kicked out of their room by a home team and as a result were now pulling their bags to the pitch. Madness. They were re-assigned quickly after somebody intervened and again the whole guest team walked back. Total chaos.
30mins delay and the game was finally underway. The young ref didn’t seem to be confused or influenced by the confusing game circumstances. On the contrary, he performed pretty well and got my thumbs up. But the Dutch FA received not only a positive ref report but also a very negative report on the receiving football club in Amsterdam. Bad hosts who should be admonished for this lousy behavior. They got a full season still ahead of them and hopefully we have prevented future refs from jumping through the same hoops.