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Question Number: 33483

Other 6/26/2019

RE: 6 - 18 Year Olds Other

DAVID KUMLIN of Lunenburg, MA United States asks...

More of a rant than a question - It was so very entertaining to watch the Netherlands and Japan play at the World Cup. For me, what made it more enjoyable than all the other games I have watched was the almost total lack of dissent by the players and coaches toward the referees¦ even when truly game changing decisions were made by the referees. Players were not throwing their hands up in the air after every close play, helping the referees by indicating the direction of all the throw-ins or waggling their fingers at referees. The players were just playing and the coaches were coaching. As a youth soccer referee, it is so disheartening for me to see top-level players constantly yammering at the referees for every single call or non-call. What a relief to NOT watch all that baloney during the Netherlands/Japan game. Perhaps poor behavior can simply be waved off as players just letting out their frustration. Im sure the Japan side has equal amounts of frustration but having been taught true self-discipline; they just get on with things. Englands coach Phil Neville hit the nail on the head when he said that there needs to be a concern for the "Bigger Picture." But, he was just talking about the Cameroon team. He surely wasnt talking about his players and most every other player at the World Cup getting on the referees with their mouths and dramatic gesticulations. Dissent is so ingrained in soccer culture that Phil Neville probably doesnt even see it as a problem because he and everyone else in the world simply accept it. The real bigger picture is that the youth of the world see all the dissent and think that its acceptable behavior. The kids incorporate it into their game and then I have to deal with trying to quash it from their behavior. Its a good thing that FIFA didnt ask me to ref at the World Cup. I would give out so many yellow cards that teams wouldnt have the minimum number of players to continue the game.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi David,
we frequently remind grassroots referees not to try to emulate the professional referee as if the match is a world cup. Fairness, safety and responsibility.. Yes there is much to learn and take from those the referee at these stratospheric levels but you do not have VAR over looking your shoulder or monitoring behaviour or the pressure of an entire nation's soul being crushed. What we have is kids looking for fun & adults who need to get to work the next day. You set the bar, players adapt or you loose interest after a while if your knowledge & tolerance levels do not work into a suitable acceptance of what players need or want! A good soccer association with a backbone with decent mediation skills and an understanding that monitoring mentoring and managing is a very real responsibility! Dissent is not the same as agreeing to disagree. Plenty of players will gripe but TRUE dissent is an undermining of your authority and generally poor sportsmanship more than questioning the foul itself.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi David
In many ways soccer reflects society. On Foul and abusive language IFAB had to remove the word foul as it use was so common place in everyday use.
Dissent is also part of society. If we do not like something we vent our dissent. It is for that reason that we now have technology in the game in a way to quell the dissent after the game.
I believe that the attitude of the Japanese players had an effect on the opponents who simply followed suit.
I have officiated teams who behave well against certain teams and then change to behaving poorly when facing belligerent opponents.
I personally never had an issue with dissent. I have had plenty of questioning of decision which I think is common place that it is part of society and not going to go away. Once it steps beyond questioning into unpleasant dissent then the cards come out

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