Six Christmas wishes to make refereeing – and football – better in 2012
Christmas time is for a time for wishes. And after a number of poor decisions in recent weeks which have impacted on the outcome of plenty of Premier League games, we needed a performance to restore our faith in the match officials.
Phil Dowd and his team proved that in the game of the season so far at The Etihad Stadium between Manchester City and Arsenal.
So it can be done, but what is needed for that performance to be the norm rather than the exception
Cut the abuse: Poll wants to see referees give red cards for abuse they receive
If I had six Christmas wishes, then this is what I’d like to see:-
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Abusive players need to see red
Match officials instructed to apply law as it is written so that when they are abused they send players off.
It happens week after week and sets such a poor example, not just at the top end of the the game, but all the way down to the grass roots game.
I didn’t realise just how damaging my actions were when I was virtually begging players to calm down, but that is what was, and I believe still is, encouraged.
You cannot demand respect from people you have to earn it.
Referees assistants need to become professional
I would like to see The Premier League loosen the purse strings and put enough money into refereeing so that assistants could go full time.
In recent weeks the assistants have proved how important they are to the game.
Worth their weight in gold: Poll is keen to see assistants go professional
We should have at least 20 full-time referees and 40 full-time assistants working throughout all four divisions – it would reap rewards.
Goal-line technology to be introduced as soon as possible
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has to introduce goal line technology as a matter of urgency.
A priority: Goalline technology must be introduced as soon as possible, according to Poll
Why do we have to wait for a fixed date to review law Get it right and do it as soon as possible.
Let Webb work with Cann and Mullarkey at Euros
Our world champion team of match officials to be allowed to work together in the European Championship finals next summer.
Howard Webb is our top-rated referee and when working with Darren Cann and Mike Mullarkey showed what he can achieve – the Champions League final and World Cup final in the summer of 2010.
Dream team: Referee Howard Webb (second left) with Assistant referees Michael Mullarkey (left) and Darren Cann (right) at the World Cup Final in South Africa
Questions should be asked why the team was broken up as soon as they got back from South Africa.
Give video refs a fair trial
IFAB to approve the trial of video referrals in some competitions.
Most observers say they would like it and believe it would enhance the game. The problem is we do not know how much to utilise it and when it should be used.
I think that referees should be allowed to refer decisions when they know something is amiss.
It would underline their credibility not undermine it. Experiments might prove different but unless we try we’ll never know.
Send Oliver to the Olympics
The FA referees committee to see sense and start to push Michael Oliver as the official of the future.
He has proved that if you’re good enough you’re old enough and that he is our brightest prospect going forward.
Young hope: Poll believes young referee Michael Oliver should go to the Olympics
Perhaps even select him for the Olympics next summer, an age restricted football competition would be perfect for him to cut his tournament teeth.