Changing the culture of dissent

As we head into another busy soccer weekend here’s a great article from a top soccer referee regarding dissent. Key parts:

Rugby is a very physical contact sport and you can see on regular occasions hugely-built players moving at speed suddenly coming to an abrupt halt following a bone-crunching tackle.

When the offending player is called over he responds immediately, keeping quiet and showing a huge amount of respect while being spoken to by the referee.

They show referees a high level of respect and it is evident to me that this is the cultural thread that runs throughout the game of rugby.

The administrators of football [soccer] should take note and should capture the spirit of it and assist our referees by introducing a change of culture.

  • Start by punishing managers/coaches who publicly berate match officials
  • Referees should get tougher and apply the law correctly
  • Issue the appropriate sanctions for foul play
  • Be prepared to issue a yellow and a red card for dissent by players

If players [and coaches] cannot control their behavior then punish them accordingly. We have all become accustomed to the culture of dissent and cheating in our game.

Parents, when your child goes out to play a game, encourage them to play in a fair manner and to accept the role of the referee.

For thousands of officials it is a hobby. Do not accept the culture of being berated by club officials and players.

Author: James

Lifelong player and student of the beautiful game in Germany, England, and USA. Volunteer futsal coach and USSF referee.

One thought on “Changing the culture of dissent”

  1. “Yes, yes yes. But I’m a special parent, with specially importance. It is my obligation to vent my spleen, even though I don’t know the laws of the game”, said almost every U8 parent, ever. I’d thought by U13 those parents would have either learned the LOTG or learned to keep their mouths shut. We have one of these parents on our sideline and I literally freeze every time she opens her mouth. It would be funny, if it weren’t so cringy.


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