October 2, 2012 by Editor
Imagine if you will that Mark Halsey is about to be interviewed at Anfield after the recent Liverpool vs Man Utd game. This interview is part of the new initiative introduced in the 2012/2013 season to provide clarity on decisions made by officials at matches throughout the Premier League season.
Interviewer – Well Mark that was an intense encounter and you had to make some big decisions. Are you happy that you got them all right?
Halsey – Yes I am happy with how the game went and unfortunately I had to send off Shelvey for a dangerous tackle and give Man Utd a penalty for a foul in the box by Johnson on Valencia, but overall I thought my team and I handled what is always a difficult fixture very well.
Interviewer – What would you say Mark if I told you that Video replays show that Johnny Evans also came into that tackle studs up and it looks like both players were trying to win the ball?
Halsey – Well I can only say that from my view point it looked overly aggressive on the part of Shelvey and that he was over the ball in that tackle, however if the replays show that this was not the case then I will of course amend my match report to reflect that and recommend the red card be downgraded to a Yellow. Obviously though it will have to be conclusive that I may have got it wrong.
Interviewer – Well I am sure you will give it every consideration to come to the right conclusion. Now moving on, what would you say if I told you that there was minimal contact on Valencia by Johnson and that it would appear that Valencia dived and exaggerated the tackle in order to get the penalty decision?
Halsey – From where I was situated it looked like a definite penalty but once again if the replays show conclusively that the tackle did not warrant a penalty then once again the card given to Johnson will be rescinded.
Interviewer – Finally regarding decisions made, there was a tackle made on Suarez during the game and t relays show that a penalty should have been awarded , how did you see it and how did you reach the decision to waive it away?
Halsey – It appeared to me that contact was made with the ball and that Suarez dived to try and convince me to award a penalty to Liverpool. If your telling me that the replays clearly show a foul in the box then obviously I should have awarded a pen and will speak to my mentor as part of the match debrief to discuss how I can in the future not make that mistake and the others we have spoken about, if the video evidence supports those views.
Interviewer – Thanks for your time Mark and I will leave you to now go and review the decisions we have just discussed and I am sure from a Liverpool Football Club point of view reach the appropriate decisions.
Halsey – Thank You
Now wouldn’t we and all the rest of Premier League fans be a lot happier if this is how it was, instead of the silence that currently exists. Managers and Players are contractually obliged to attend post match interviews yet the most important person on the pitch, the Referee does not. The impact of their decisions can have far reaching effects on player’s careers, reputations and most importantly on whether a Manager stays in his post, yet still silence prevails.
If a Referee is confident in his ability and was given the freedom to express his opinions and give reasons, why on earth would he choose not to, and more importantly if he was contractually obliged to, so much the better.
Nirvana? No I don’t think so. It is ludicrous that in 2012 there still exists this arrogant, I’m the boss, I’m in charge and I don’t need to explain myself attitude. Clarity and transparency are way overdue in the Refereeing world and the current situation cannot be allowed to continue.
Written by Gordon Younie. You can follow him on Twitter @GordWY