Perspective on refereeing

“I have two daughters who don’t play soccer, but if they should ever decide to take it up I’d be glad to know that they were being helped along by the many volunteer referees who come out in any weather and at any time when they could quite easily stay in bed on a Sunday morning or go to a cafe for breakfast and read the newspaper.

I would be happy and I have no words to express fully my respect and my gratitude.

For this reason I am truly saddened when I see that often in youth matches the referee receives an avalanche of insults because, for example, he has or hasn’t whistled for a penalty.

Soccer is a sport, it allows youngsters to be together, to socialize, to learn how to live together and achieve things together. Soccer is essentially a microcosm of life. In life you work with others to achieve results, just as you do in soccer.

So if something is done for the good of a youngster, then the last to complain about that ought to be his/her parents.”

Pierluigi Collina, the man whose stare could reduce celebrity soccer players to silence is considered the best referee in the world, having been named FIFA’s ‘Best Referee of the Year’ six consecutive times. Currently head of UEFA Referees (

Author: James

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

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