RefSix

Red Cards, fair?

Harey

Member
Hi,

Interested on some feedback. In the last month, I've given two red cards for foul language in decent, and today I had a 'interesting' point of view on it (from the receiving team of course!).

Both were Youth League:
  • Red Card 1: Ball comes over the top, striker is offsite at the point of the kick, CAR flags straight away, however I monitor for active play. Defender intercepts, and makes an error which (offside) striker pounces on and scores. It was a clear error by the defender and therefore the striker did not receive from the original pass, or interfere with the defenders error. Defender comes over as I award the goal and says to me "Look at the f**kin linesman, he's flagged". Red Card dispatched.
  • Red Card 2: Attacking player decides to, as good as, hug the defender while trying to get the ball back. I blow for a foul. Player walks off saying "You can't make a f**king decision like that". Red Card dispatched.
The managers opinion was, he wasn't saying about me, and didn't call me any names like "referee you're a f**kin c**t", which I highlighted wasn't the point was it was decent with foul and abusive language. Remember this Youth League!

Checking the rules it states "Offensive, insulting or abusive language: Verbal or physical behaviour which is rude, hurtful, disrespectful; punishable by a sending-off (red card)". I felt on both occasions, I felt it was an unacceptable way to speak to a match official.

So two questions:
  1. Given some would say, this is common albeit not acceptable, is it a correct interpretation of the law?
  2. Do other see a difference from being called something, or using this language in decent?
Cheers
Chris
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
Hi,

Interested on some feedback. In the last month, I've given two red cards for foul language in decent, and today I had a 'interesting' point of view on it (from the receiving team of course!).

Both were Youth League:
  • Red Card 1: Ball comes over the top, striker is offsite at the point of the kick, CAR flags straight away, however I monitor for active play. Defender intercepts, and makes an error which (offside) striker pounces on and scores. It was a clear error by the defender and therefore the striker did not receive from the original pass, or interfere with the defenders error. Defender comes over as I award the goal and says to me "Look at the f**kin linesman, he's flagged". Red Card dispatched.
  • Red Card 2: Attacking player decides to, as good as, hug the defender while trying to get the ball back. I blow for a foul. Player walks off saying "You can't make a f**king decision like that". Red Card dispatched.
The managers opinion was, he wasn't saying about me, and didn't call me any names like "referee you're a f**kin c**t", which I highlighted wasn't the point was it was decent with foul and abusive language. Remember this Youth League!

Checking the rules it states "Offensive, insulting or abusive language: Verbal or physical behaviour which is rude, hurtful, disrespectful; punishable by a sending-off (red card)". I felt on both occasions, I felt it was an unacceptable way to speak to a match official.

So two questions:
  1. Given some would say, this is common albeit not acceptable, is it a correct interpretation of the law?
  2. Do other see a difference from being called something, or using this language in decent?
Cheers
Chris
There's no right or wrong answer IMO
The common phrase is , 'you had to be there'. Even then, we wouldn't all agree on what constitutes OFFINABUS. It can depend on so many factors, we can't discuss them all. In general, the 'language of football' largely entails swearing of some sort, so we need to allow for this

Very unusual for me to take offence (first offinabus aimed at me in 170 games), but I dismissed a manager yesterday for publicly yelling, 'you'll be having a pint with <the home team> after the game'. Either I've suddenly gone soft, or I thought the outburst was badly timed, snide in context and the game was just starting to slip.
Game went on to end normally, but of course, i've questioned whether I could've handled it differently. The manager took a chance, on this occasion, at this moment in time, I deemed it offensive and the chap will be slapped with a fine
Ironically, no swearing whatsoever!
 
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SurreyWolves

New Member
Level 7 Referee
It is all based on your tolerance levels, and also the league itself, as they may have specific rules for swearing, especially if it is a youth league. It has been a long time since I refereed (hopefully will be doing it again VERY soon), but I always explained to youth players that if they are grown up enough to swear, they are grown up enough for the consequences of it. However, if swearing wasn't directly directed at me (aka, indirect frustration) my hearing can lapse...

This is only my own, personal opinion.
 

Degnann

SFA Category 1+6
Level 7 Referee
Very unusual for me to take offence (first offinabus aimed at me in 170 games),
I must be unlucky. Mines happened after 4.

I'd mirror what was said in here though in regards to OP. You definitely had to be there. If you've found it offensive then every right to deem it a red. As for me based on the descriptions I'd personally be going yellow.
 

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
Similar to others, I wouldn't be sending off for those comments, and I'm not even sure I'd be cautioning. Perhaps I'd consider it for the second one as it is a comment about me, but the first one is just the use of industrial language and it wouldn't tick any boxes for me. That doesn't mean you are wrong though, but I do think with your tolerance level bar set that low you are likely to run into problems with match control, especially in adult football.
 

Dan56

New Member
Level 7 Referee
Certainly there is dissent here and a definite YC, but before going for red be careful: you use the phrase "foul and abusive language", but the word "foul" (about language at least) was removed from the Laws many years ago. So I would suggest that the lawmakers really want us to focus on the "offensive, insulting or abusive" element. If for you it ticks one of those boxes...then red it is...
 

QuaverRef

I used to be indecisive but now i'm not so sure
Level 6 Referee
Personally, that would be a booking/sin bin at most of me. Maybe not even that for the first point, but we all have different tolerance levels
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
If I'm honest I'm not going red for either. Obviously YHTBT to get the context of the game. Sin bins for me.
I'm not going red for mine either, except I was there! I was somewhat embarrassed putting it through to the CFA. However, in that instance of time, the fella had wormed under my skin and i was insulted in front of a crowd. The game went to sleep afterwards, so I don't know what would've transpired if I'd turned a blind eye
I agree with you in principle though, the language in the OP scenarios is normal(ish). But @Harey may not yet know this language (or how to talk it)
 
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socal lurker

RefChat Addict
I’m on the other side of the pond, and I think we culturally view f—- as a stronger curse word than in England. For me here, a youth player (or coach) using it in dissent is gone every time.
 

Harey

Member
Thanks for your comments.

I am still struggling with this one at the Youth Level, as I feel at 12 year old screaming at you, with that language, just feels unacceptable (as was key in my decision). If my kids did that to someone, I would be horrified. Also I feel responsible for this not being seen as acceptable.

On the flip side I feel at this approach, I am going to be giving a few!
 

Harey

Member
In regards to the CFA/League they have advised
f a player shows any signs of abusive/offensive/insulting behaviour (strong level of swearing etc) then you have the right to send them off.
As managers have complained it’s not being dealt with m
 

one

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
If I was to send off at all my OA games for the OP type of language, I'd hardly finish any games. At OA depending on the tone and body language etc worse case scenario will be sin bin. If said in a softer tone and depending how animated they are, it is a public warning.

At U12, it's spanking but apparently you can't do that nowadays so sin bin it is. Too harsh to send off for me but happy if another referee justifies that as offensive and send off but you have to be consistent for it. It is very unlikely you'd be consistent with other referees as most I know wouldn't send of for it.
 

GraemeS

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
I'm with the majority here - aggressively screaming it in your face and either of those could be red, but without that level of aggression/intimidation, the use of the f-word alone isn't enough for a red card in my games. The second scenario you describe could easily still be worth a dissent yellow given it is actively disagreeing with your decision, the first could be anything depending on tone.

A bit of a side note, but did you consider making a show of having that chat with the CAR in your first incident? You might be 99% sure of why he flagged and be confident in overruling, but there can still be value in having the chat.
Firstly, in case something's happened that you haven't considered,
Secondly, even if you are right, having the chat with the CAR to confirm it/explain why you overruled can help him feel more valued and keep him on side for the rest of the match.
Thirdly, it helps sell the decision to everyone else on the pitch.

Don't necessarily do this for every overrule, but on the other hand, if my overrule leads to or directly denies a goal, I'll almost always make a show of checking with the AR even when I'm confident.
 
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Kes

I'll Decide ...
Level 5 Referee
@Harey You've asked for others opinions on here and been given them which is good info/ammo for future games.

Don't confuse dissent with OFFINABUS mate. They can often be part and parcel of the same thing but they're mutually exclusive in their own right.

Dissent is a public disagreement (by word or action) with one or more of your decisions/actions. How it's said or done to you is often what's key. What is only dissent to one referee can easily be OFFINABUS to another. Irrespective of what anybody else on here says they would have done, it's down to you to react to what happened to you in the way that you see fit, as long as it's compliant with the LOTG.

At the end of the day, if the dissent that was directed at you and how it was delivered made you feel offended, insulted or abused - then you were absolutely spot on to dish out a red card for it. ;) :) 👍
 

one

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
@Harey You've asked for others opinions on here and been given them which is good info/ammo for future games.

Don't confuse dissent with OFFINABUS mate. They can often be part and parcel of the same thing but they're mutually exclusive in their own right.

Dissent is a public disagreement (by word or action) with one or more of your decisions/actions. How it's said or done to you is often what's key. What is only dissent to one referee can easily be OFFINABUS to another. Irrespective of what anybody else on here says they would have done, it's down to you to react to what happened to you in the way that you see fit, as long as it's compliant with the LOTG.

At the end of the day, if the dissent that was directed at you and how it was delivered made you feel offended, insulted or abused - then you were absolutely spot on to dish out a red card for it. ;) :) 👍
Very good points and good advice.

Minor semantic correction (fancy me doing that to you ;) ). Some dissents are also OFINABUS and vice versa. In fact almost all OFINABUS towards referees are also dissent. But not all dissents are OFINABUS . Which is pretty much what you said except that they are not mutually exclusive. Of course you punish the more serious one if it's both.
 
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Reactions: Kes

ChasTutorObserver

Regular Contributor
I agree with the "Had to be there" approach shared by various posters, but O/I/A language/gestures are among the areas where in recent times referees have tolerated far more than their predecessors, quoting "Industrial Language", "Language of Football", etc.
Our local Supply League, for example, have recently issued instructions to clubs, referees and observers that referees are expected to deal with O/I/A and observers are to ensure that any failure is addressed.
This follows complaints from people whose gardens are adjacent to parks where football is played each weekend, and the language was unacceptable to them.
I live in an area where unacceptable language during matches is now the norm, and see first hand when walking my dogs or mentoring a youth referee that many adult referees choose to ignore it, despite the people passing by and the children's playground behind one goal.
Based on the original post, two red cards would have my support as an observer.
Using a dissent/sin bin option is choosing to ignore the O/I/A in my opinion.
 

Harey

Member
I'm with the majority here - aggressively screaming it in your face and either of those could be red, but without that level of aggression/intimidation, the use of the f-word alone isn't enough for a red card in my games. The second scenario you describe could easily still be worth a dissent yellow given it is actively disagreeing with your decision, the first could be anything depending on tone.

A bit of a side note, but did you consider making a show of having that chat with the CAR in your first incident? You might be 99% sure of why he flagged and be confident in overruling, but there can still be value in having the chat.
Firstly, in case something's happened that you haven't considered,
Secondly, even if you are right, having the chat with the CAR to confirm it/explain why you overruled can help him feel more valued and keep him on side for the rest of the match.
Thirdly, it helps sell the decision to everyone else on the pitch.

Don't necessarily do this for every overrule, but on the other hand, if my overrule leads to or directly denies a goal, I'll almost always make a show of checking with the AR even when I'm confident.
Thanks. Did chat to CAR, and he agreed with my decision and admitted he flagged too early and not on active play. His early flag caused his team to stop (and not play to the whistle) which only exaggerated the issue!
 

Joshref

New Member
Level 7 Referee
(fairly new here but this is just my opinion)
When I first saw it, I just thought you had a low tolerance level, but when I realised it was U12s, that was more shocking. Although in my personal opinion both would probably be a caution, I can see why you gave the reds
 
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