The Courage of a Referee

For those who aren’t aware, The Women’s World Cup 2015 kicked off yesterday.

This morning I was listening to the repeat of last night’s “World Cup Tonight” and it’s apparent that Alexi Lalas truly has no understanding of how referees call a game. He also marked himself as the kind of idiot who helps turn crowds against referees.

To his questioning of someone labeling that referee courageous:  Of course it took guts for the referee to make that PK call in the Canada/China game. Why?  Because she knew stoppage time was running out and that making that call would likely change the outcome of the game. She also knew that blowhards like Lalas would be jumping out of their chairs complaining.  BUT, she made the call anyway…because it was absolutely a foul and clearly in the box.

Lalas argued that there’s a bigger picture to look at.  There’s really not.  It doesn’t matter if a team sucks all game long, finally manages to get into the opponents penalty area, gets taken down (fouled), scores the PK, and wins the game.  You can argue that they didn’t “deserve” it…that the other team was the better team.  Referees don’t take that into account.  They make the calls based on each situation, each incident, each foul.

The referees for the World Cup have been working their trade for years, assessed over and over, and almost assuredly have more games under their belts than Lalas has TV appearances showing his ass.  These referees have proven themselves over and over to be of the highest quality, and to be afraid to apply the Laws of the Game because “it’s the World Cup” would not only be a disservice to the players in that game, but to the game itself.

Will controversial calls make headlines and give fidiots like Lalas things to talk about to fill air time?  Sure.  Will some players be called offside who weren’t and some offside calls get missed?  I’d bet on it.  Will there be cards shown to players that some will cheer while others boo?  Of course.  Will referees make more favorable calls for the “home team”?  I certainly hope not.  Does it take courage to make the right call that (probably) directly affects the outcome of the game?  Absolutely!


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