Life after refereeing: Edward Lennie from Australia

The third referee in ‘Life after refereeing’ is Edward Lennie from Australia.

Edward Lennie was named referee of the year in the National Soccer League in Australia for several years. He also got the Medal of the Order of Australia.

Edward ‘Eddie’ Lennie, soccer referee from Australia. Provided by referee.

What do you do now for a living?

“I am the Referee Development manager for referees in Western Australia, I am also an elite assessor and instructor for both AFC and FIFA. I retired in 2004 and took up assessing and instructing immediately
first of all with OFC (Australia was still a member then) and later with AFC, when Australia joined in 2005.”

How do you look back on your career and what is your best experience?

“Best experience is refereeing the 98 World Cup finals in France 98. It was the best experience as it is the pinnacle of many years of refereeing around the world. To be involved and work with 32 referees
from around the world was fantastic. It was the first time that at a World Cup finals FIFA had all the referees live, work, eat, sleep in the one hotel which bonded many friendships which have still lasted today.”

Do you miss (professional) refereeing?

“As you can see I am still very much involved with refereeing at the professional level in coaching, so not missing it.”

What needs to be changed in football/refereeing?

“In refereeing terms we need to do more in the development of referees at grass roots level, we tend to concentrate at the high end elite level. In terms of football, more RESPECT for each other role in the game.”

Read also previous interviews in this section with Carlos Eugenio Simon from Brazil and Daniel Munteanu from Romania.

Life after refereeing: Errol Sweeney from Ireland

Errol Sweeney is back in his own Ireland, but has been a football referee in South Africa. He actually was named the best referee of South Africa twice. Once by his colleagues, the second time by sports journalists.

Errol Sweeney in action during a match in South Africa.

Errol Sweeney in action during a match in South Africa. Photo provided by referee.

Name: Errol Sweeney
Born: 1947
Country: Ireland
Career: FAI Intermediate, Cup final – 1974/1975; first cup final in South Africa was in 1986 as assistant referee. In 1986 he was fourth official and he got the first cup final as referee in 1988. In 1991 he also officiated both semi cup finals, which is unique in South Africa.

What do you do now for a living?

Errol Sweeney: “I’m a psychologist working in Wilson’s Hospital School in Ireland dealing with teenagers. And I am a referee coach and mentor up and including World Cup level.”

How do you look back on your career and what is your best experience?

“I started refereeing at the tender age of 22 in Ireland and by the time I finished in South Africa I had completed 25 years on the field experience. I went to South Africa in 1985 with my wife and four children as there was no work here in Ireland. It was difficult settling in at first but we got used to it and in the end really enjoyed it.”

“Like most referees I had many ups and downs but I always found it to be a fantastic journey. I never let a game fall through because I couldn’t make it – hail, rain, and snow. My best experience was the South Africa Cup Final in 1988 in front of 95.000 people. I also refereed Manchester United v Arsenal when they came to South Africa in 1993 when I red carded the former Utd and England captain Bryan Robson for foul and abusive language. It caused a big uproar at the time.”

Do you miss (professional) refereeing?

“I really do miss professional refereeing. If only God would make time stand still I would still be refereeing, but that’s life.”

What needs to be changed in football/refereeing?

“Basically there needs to be a separate Independent Refereeing Body to run and control refereeing. The National Football Association should have nothing to do with it. The soccer politicians are ruining refereeing and too many clubs and high profile club managers/coaches have too much influence when it comes to which referees handle their games.”

Errol Sweeney has also written a blog about a seperate Independent Refereeing Body on the website of Supersport, an African sports pay-tv channel. You can read all the stories of Errol Sweeney on refereeing here.

Read also previous interviews in this section

Life after refereeing: Carlos Simon from Brazil

The second referee in ‘Life after refereeing’ is Carlos Eugenio Simon from Brazil.

Use of Simon’s Twitter with his permission.

Name: Carlos Eugenio Simon
Born: 1965
Country: Brazil
Career: Fifa badge in 1997; World Cups in 2002, 2006 and 2010; Copa America in 2001 and 2007; Copa Sudamericana finals in 2003, 2004.

What do you do now for a living?

“I am commentateur of soccer matches at Fox Sports Brazil. I analyze the match and the referee.”

How do you look back on your career and what is your best experience?

“I worked in 1.198 soccer matches, lots of decisions, one olympiad and 3 world cup’s which are my best experience. It’s hard keep a career in high level in Brazil because we don’t have much incentive. The fact that I worked in 3 world cup’s it’s a great victory for me because I worked really hard. Have worked in one world cup it’s amazing and in 3 is even bigger.”

Do you miss (professional) refereeing?

“Yes. I worked as referee for 27 years. I stopped because I completed 45 years in 2010.” He did not think of continuing his career at national level. “I wanted to finish after I have worked in 3 major finals in 2010: Bazilian Championship, Copa do Brazil and Supercopa.”

What needs to be changed in football/refereeing?

“The referee must be professionalized and should have better conditions to exercise his work.”

Read also the previous ‘Life after refereeing’ with Daniel Munteanu from Romania.

Life after refereeing: Daniel Munteanu from Romania

A new section has started on the Dutch Referee Blog: Life after refereeing.

This is how I got the idea: Two weeks ago I got an e-mail from a retired Romanian referee, named Daniel Munteanu. He was an international referee and had officiated with René Temmink, a Dutch referee. ‘Got his e-mail address?’, he asked.

I know some refs but not all of them. Little research finally got me in touch with a car dealer with the same name. And yes, it was him. Doing this, I wondered why I shouldn’t let these former referees talk about their refereeing experiences. They both agreed to answer the four questions to give an impression of what they do now and what they did before. Today I’ll publish the first part with the Romanian referee.

Munteanu at the age of 17. Source: his website.

Name: Daniel Munteanu
Born: 1960
Country: Romania
Career: 1976: started as a referee; 1986: referee in the third Romanian football League; 1991: referee in the second Romanian football League; 1993: assistant referee in the first Romanian football League; 1996: assistant referee on the FIFA list; 1997: abruptly end of the career due to a stroke.

What do you do now for a living?

Since 1997 I am retired from my job as engineer in Electronics and Telecommunications because of a vascular cerebral attack (stroke). In the present, I am vice-president of the County Referee Committee in Bacau (city in Romania, capital of eponymous region, jth) and implied in referees’ training in my county. I can not travel long distances alone. I also am referee instructor assessor and observer.

How do you look back on your career?

“I look back at more than twenty years of refereeing at all levels with pleasure. I like to watch the pictures taken during the matches and to see now the moments from the respective match.”

“One of the most precious moment of my career is the final match in the European Football Championship under 18. It was in 1996 in Besançon in France. The final was France versus Spain.”

Referee René Temmink (Holland) and his assistant refereees Anthony Zammit (Malta) and Daniel Munteanu (Romania).

Do you miss (professional) refereeing?

“When I was in the hospital after the stroke and the doctor said to me that I will not be able to do any performace in sport, I didn’t believe that. Many years I hoped that I would be in good health and be able of refereeing again.”

“Now I am fitted with my condition. Mister Julian Carosi from England encouraged me to write about the Laws of the game and published my articles in The Football Refereee magazine. I have a mail contact with referee instructors all over the world. It is wonderful to discuss things about refereeing. I am happy because in this world I can give from my overflow without asking for anything.”

What needs to be changed in football/refereeing?

In my opinion, there is too much money in circulation in footballl. Because of this, the interests around matches are very ample and the referee may not make any error; people forgot that the referee is a human and nobody is perfect.”

“In the last number of Schiedsrichter Zeitung, the official magazine of referees in Germany, there is an article with a very adequate title ‘In de Ruhe liegt die Kraft’. It could be translated as ‘In the quiet abides the force’. I didn’t read the article yet, but can say that the referees need tranquility in order to refereee well.”