Monday, July 23, 2012



In the wake of Fabrice Muamba’s near death experience last year it is obvious that match officials, already under plenty of pressure, now must keep their wits about them when a player goes down. Is it genuine or is it another case of timewasting? Decisions must be taken quickly and those seconds after the player has gone to ground could be the difference between life and death.

The Bangkok Regional League game between Thai Honda and North Bangkok perfectly illustrated the dilemma faced by refs. It also highlighted how inaction or indecision by a ref just makes things worse. North Bangkok players were going to ground long before they took the lead. It was embarrassing. That grown men could quite happily throw themselves to the floor, write in agony, wait for the ref to signal the stretcher bearers, be carried off then jump up and get back into the thick of things is nothing short of embarrassing. I was cringing watching it.

North Bangkok player at it again. yawn!
The ref, mind, did nothing. Down would go a player, the ball would go out and on came the stretcher people. Time and time again. Sat in the stand fans knew players were faking it. The ref didn’t. he took no action. Instead of nipping the problem in the bud with a yellow card the first time a player went down he did nothing and it spiraled out of control. Second half he did start wising up and let play carry on while a visiting player would lie on the pitch, looking round for the stretcher bearers coming to ease his pain.

But the damage had been done. Had the ref taken action early doors, I believe that is the correct phraseology, then the players would have knocked it on the head. It is therefore appropriate that leaders Thai Honda equalized in injury time. An injury time the North Bangkok players had brought on themselves with their stupid, pathetic actions. I hesitate to use the term child like, it would be unfair on kids.

Ironically when Thai Honda equalized one of their players went down and stayed down. The stretcher bearers were no help this time so a doctor and a couple of nurses were called for. This was obviously serious as we witnessed a somewhat well built doctor and his dainty nurses skip across the field to do their bit. The ref got that right just as he had, finally, clamped down on the diving but the point remains he should have gotten tougher and meaner earlier.

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