Another young and ambitious ref to mentor last weekend. And this time a slightly difficult match. Mostly due to the home coach criticizing the ref all the time. I was positioned behind his dug-out, so registered everything in detail.
I joined the ref on his game preps and decided to join the player pass check as well. The away team had told him they learned about two red cards in the home team’s previous game. If he could make sure they weren’t playing. Well, the new admin app prevents red carded players from joining, but the ref still applied the ‘sit-down-when-your-name-is-called-out’ system. No surprises there. He told them also that any comments on his refereeing should go through their captain.
Somehow, this instruction didn’t help as the home team got the idea he was just a ref in training (with me watching over him), which he wasn’t. He passed his ref exam last year and just wanted to move up the ladder and had requested mentoring this season.
It was a game full of one-sided yelling. The home coach yelled at each decision against them, but kept quiet when the ref decided correctly for pk in their favor. They missed as the away team’s goalie corrected his mistake and stopped the ball. The home team’s coach was told twice to behave and calm down. But most striking was the AR’s behavior. He ignored most of the ref’s signals on bad calls. And when he wanted to pass on the flag to another sub player, the ref refused and told him to continue until half time. And this all happened while I was positioned behind his dug-out and registered all their shouting and yelling.
From that moment on, the AR was totally out of bounds. He made phone calls and started doing warming-up exercises. So bad that he totally lost sight of the game and at 5 meters off the last defender was told to signal offside by his coach, and please put down his phone. I guess the ref didn’t notice this as I had to inform him during half time. The home team’s AR was replaced by another nitwit during 2nd half and the ref had to call him out a few times as well.
Despite all this, the ref did a good job and applied the laws of the game correctly. He just missed the odd advantage ball and, in my view, had to admonish too many home players for dissent. Only three yellows were issued, where at least one double yellow would have been better, including sending off their coach. Something he just has to grow into and get sterner on this kind of behavior.
I promised to send a formal complaint to the FA. I suspect it won’t be the first one. Unacceptable behavior.