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  • Gareth Ellis

The beautiful game?

Respect in sport is slowly dying.

I’m a football fan and I have to say I hate what the game I love has become. Footballers yell at and surround referees like wild animals while pleading a case that will not be considered. Referees do not change their minds once a decision has been made just because some pampered primadonna is shouting in their face.

Now I have to admit, I may have occasionally lost my temper with a refereeing decision. I may have shouted something that rhymes with ‘you ducking banker’ and I may have decided that I could do better.

The truth is, I couldn’t. Officials are there to call a game in whatever way they see it, making decisions we see hundreds of times, at dozens of different angles, in a split second.

I recently went to watch MK Dons v Brighton and I couldn’t count the amount of times a decision was made and a number of players surrounded the referee, yelling in his face, spelling out their apparent anger.

Sorry lads, decision’s been made.

Take any other line of work. My manager makes a decision and my team and I disagree. Do we then surround her telling her she’s shit? No because we’d be sacked. So why aren’t footballers sent off? If someone shouted at you like that in the street you’d call the police or punch them in the face.

Compare this to the game I watched on TV later. France v England in the rugby. Players have so much respect for officials. Only captains can speak to the referee, they don’t argue and they call him sir. Plus they get tackled at a speed that would comparatively kill a footballer, if they really are as hurt as they say they are.

I wish I could say I’d stop watching football (so does J) but I’m an addict. They say rugby is a thug’s game played by gentlemen and football is vice versa. I don’t agree. Rugby is a man’s game played by gentlemen. Football is the beautiful game played largely by pricks.

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