Refusing to leave – Rodric Leerling

Refusing to leave – Rodric Leerling

The away coach seemed decent and polite at the pre-match introduction. We had a short conversation about their previous match and I noticed in my records they needed the points today in order to avoid relegation from the high U19 group.

He, however, turned out to be a negative influence on the team’s performance. From the moment of kick-off he shouted instructions and reviewed his players ‘on the fly’. One of his players apparently got a kick out of that and started making comments to me. I warned him a couple of times and told him next time he would be cautioned officially.

He seemed to take heed at first and behaved. The home team scored two goals in first half but they weren’t the better team. They strategically chose a grass pitch while most of the games were played on artificial turf and the away team clearly struggled with that. No good passing, frustration in ball control etc. And a coach that would weirdly enough shout that I saw things right, against his own players. Trying to protect them from yellow cards?

At half time, the away coach gave a thunder speech in their locker room to get everyone focused again. It seemed to work for a while but then the ‘talking head’ player decided to start being obnoxious again. He made a bad tackle just in front of his own dug out. I pulled the yellow card and his coach went berserk. It wasn’t that bad, not intentionally, he played the ball. The usual. But I had enough of him, time to caution and take control.

I hadn’t even put away my ref card and I already awarded the next free kick to the home team. My cautioned player started to form a defensive wall. And while doing that he kicked the ball away. Not once, but twice; clearly delaying the free kick. I pulled my yellow card but didn’t notice his number immediately. His team members tried make me change my mind but once I saw 10 on his shirt I could pull the red card and sent him off.

And now suddenly the away coach was standing next to me. I asked him what he was doing here. He told me he was ‘protecting his players’. Never heard such a weird excuse. I told him to leave the pitch and also move behind the fence. He refused and slowly walked back to his dug out. A true stand-off. I told him once again to leave the pitch or I would abandon game. Consequences for him. He still refused. Then the home team interfered and convinced him to simply do as he was told. He gave in and continued coaching from behind the fence.

And suddenly the team started to play better. They even scored a goal. The home team countered that within the same minute and finished it off 5 minutes later. Not only were the points lost for the away team but also a full report to the Dutch FA could be expected for misdemeanor. Probably not coaching his team during the last games. They may even profit from it eventually.

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