The Graham Norton Show had a wonderful episode about refereeing. I did not expect it, but have you ever thought of David Beckham as football referee?
What he told was a nice story of how difficult it could be to referee a match of one of your kids.
“I ref’d one of the games of Romeo. Romeo is the most emotional of all of my kids actually. He was playing at this game and the referee didn’t turn up. All the parents were looking at me as if to say …”
“I went on the pitch and started refereeing the game. It went great, they were winning 4-0. And then one of the opposition players went towards our goal.” The he realises he should be neutral as referee and adds: ‘I shouln’t say it was our goal’.”
“Then Romeo went to make a tackle. He missed the ball and took the player down. It was an obvious penalty and I am thinking: “Oh no, I really don’t want to be making this decision. But then, I looked at our parents and I know I had to give the penalty. I give the penalty and Romeo is looking at me and see his eyes are wetting up. The kid stepped up and took the penalty – and I shouldn’t say thankfully – but he missed it. And as our team, as Romeo’s team was breaking he ran passed me and said: ‘I can’t believe you did that, daddy’.”
A great story to learn from. Be honest as referee – even when you have to referee your own kids and give a penalty kick against them.
Interested in more youth football lesson. Check out how a coaches teaches his pupils to respect the referee.