At a recent A-League match, meatheads threw plastic bottles at the refs after Perth scored a goal that could easily have been ruled offside. This is why we can’t have nice things.
After the incident, it was suggested on one fan forum that referees should be pelted with abuse and bottles at training to toughen them up and sharpen their focus. A sensible idea – one that should be adopted by the A-League post haste.
The FFA announced that it would review footage of plastic bottles being thrown at referees during the match between Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory.
“If offenders can be identified through the AAMI Park closed circuit TV or the event and security reports, FFA will impose bans on those responsible.”
Bans might be a bit over the top – perhaps a stern talking to would be sufficient for some of the kids who threw bottles. Or a fine for the adults. Or public beatings. Public beatings would be better than some of the dross that’s served up as half-time “entertainment”.
There is, however, the issue of self-restraint. We are not animals. We are not slaves to our emotions. A bad refereeing decision (or a decision perceived to be bad) is not an excuse to hurl bottles (or coins or lighters or in-laws) onto the field. It’s also probably not ok for fans to throw things at opposition players when they score a goal.
An Arsenal fan threw a coin at Jamie Carragher when Liverpool played at Highbury in January 2002. Carragher picked up the coin and threw it back. It was a £1 coin, apparently. Not your shillings or pence for Arsenal supporters! Anyway, Liverpool fined Carragher £40,000. He also received a police warning. And a three match ban.
Not every refereeing decision is part of a conspiracy theory. Yes, Melbourne Victory supporters, I’m looking at you. The fixture, visa concessions, and overzealous policing are all part of a Sydney-centric FFA-led conspiracy against the club, sure, but A-League referees are human and they make mistakes.
Except for Kris Griffiths-Jones. He’s a dreamy refereeing machine, incapable of doing wrong. Hang on, he’s from NSW…
Photo “Cold Tea Drinks” by Paul Downey via Wikimedia Commons.