Tag: KNVB scheidsrechters

“Praying before a game” – Rodric Leerling

prayerI had noticed it once in a while before the start of professional football games – players praying muslim style. This weekend two players were openly praying at the start of both game halves of my U16 game in Amsterdam. I respect that but wonder what the intention is.

I don’t know what they are praying for but surely not to win the game. In the opponent team there appeared to be also muslims. At least I noticed a few times one of the muslim players admonishing an opponent and calling him “brother” when a possible conflict arose. Not sure how he recognized him and if he appreciated this at all.

Well, I assume the prayer has saved me corrective talks and yellow cards. I eventually had to show a yellow card, but not to a muslim player. At least, this player had not been praying and wasn’t called ‘brother’. Next time I will need to find out what the prayer topic really is. It might come handy when needed to calm down players. I will recommend them also to start with prayer in future and tell me what it all means to me as referee.

“Take it from the pro” – Rodric Leerling

WIllems tackleIt was a special referee instruction session last night. The Dutch FA sent one of its rising stars to teach us how to manage a game. I recognized his face when I entered the room and we started chatting as refs always do. Did you see this, what do you think of that?

Before I knew it, I raised a hot topic in the football press this week. A heavy tackle on a PSV player (where a straight red card would be obvious) was given advantage instead.  Our rising star took a deep breath Рhe had been the acting referee that game! Oops. But he immediately admitted when he watched the replay afterwards, he realised he should have stopped the game and sent the fouling opponent off. He feared a low marking due to this one bad call.

The rest of the evening we watched and discussed videos, evaluated good ref decisions and what could have been done better and why. We learned to decide firmly from kick-off, without being in the centre of attention all the time. When needed to stop a game to try and stop further escalation. Take time to decide and pick your battles. How to use small talk as player correction, but when needed be clear and speak out loud so everyone can hear (and see!) your disapproval of someone’s behavior.

Our hero was applauded for his great seminar performance and we left for home with new insights. We will surely watch him tonight in the Dutch FA Cup semi-final with other eyes.