It was an important futsal night last Friday. On the roster a real futsal champions game. I checked the tables and realized the home team being nr.1 could become champion with just a draw, whereas for their opponent, nr.2 of the table, only a win would suffice. And on top of that my 3rd assessor’s report would be drafted based on this game.
I had ordered two chairs for penalty times and moved both sub benches five meters from the middle line and told both teams that they were facing the player sub area so don’t mess around! The indoor futsal hall was slowly filling with spectators.
I even requested a linesman to help me out. This is only required at next level games, but I didn’t want to take chances. The guy who was planned to be my secretary offered to take on this role while a former player was told to handle the scoreboard and clock. When I saw his sullen face, I suddenly realized I knew him as I had cautioned him in the past for dissent. A bad omen. OK, so this is how you start and stop the clock. And give me the last minute ok?
The game was tense from both sides but I hardly made any errors and was in full control. No cautions needed, so the chairs stayed empty. The shit hit the fan at the end of 1st half when the secretary forgot to give me ‘my last minute’. And shortly after, at the start of the 2nd half, he now forgot to start the clock and only after me shouting across the hall he did with 10 secs delay. Everything went fine and the home team was hitting home fast to become champion and get promoted to 1st class.
But my lousy secretary wasn’t paying attention again and he forgot to stop the clock at the last minute. Being fully concentrated, I noticed this immediately and started shouting across the hall to stop ‘the bloody thing’. And just when I looked up and then to my secretary, a home player took revenge (at least that I was told later) and tackled a guest player exactly at the same time. I only saw him drop and scream of pain, but didn’t see what caused it. I was still yelling at my lousy secretary, running across the hall and suddenly realized I missed a massive foul.
Spectators and players were yelling and screaming for justice. Why no cards ref? Come on, at least yellow? I quickly decided a free kick which seemed the minimum to everyone around me, but I didn’t know what else to do. I just ran the last 50 secs of the game with a deep feeling of frustration. The home team had won fairly easy and were celebrating their earned promotion. The away team realized they had just lost against a much better team.
Handshakes from both teams but I was still dazed and confused. I told the linesman that I was very upset about the stand-in secretary letting me down so badly. But he didn’t seem to care as the champagne bottles were popping and he just thanked me for a good game and walked away. Would the assessor have recorded what happened (from my perspective)? If not, I’m toast and can forget the hard worked promotion. All for nothing.