7 quotes from John Motson on referees

7 quotes from John Motson on referees. This weekend the legendary BBC commentator for football on radio and Match of the Day ended his career. Brian Clough once said to Motson: “I think what you do to referees is nothing short of criminal.” But was Motson so rude? Here’s some quotes and commentary from John Motson on refereeing and (great) decisions.

John Motson on referees

The referee makes the call

“Whether that was a penalty or not, the referee thought otherwise.” On iNews. A good point of Motson. It’s up to the referee to make the calls and his decisions are final.

Same coloured shirt

“The referee is wearing the same yellow-coloured top as the Slovakian goalkeeper. I’d have thought the Uefa official would have spotted that – but perhaps he’s been deafened by the noise of this crowd.” In Express.

Controversial incidents

Motson made sure he knows all the names of the refereeing crew, but not for good reasons. He wants to share their names if they make a mistake. “Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m just off to see the referee. I want to get the names of his assistants. If you don’t you can guarantee today will be the day when one of them is involved in a controversial incident.” Interview with him in The Guardian.

Finding and painting the spot

Motson describes a funny situation in the seventies.

“It was at the Baseball Ground at Derby in the 1970s. The mud was so thick on the pitch that when the referee awarded a penalty, he could not find the spot. He paced out 12 yards and a man came round with a pot of paint and repainted the penalty spot.” On BBC

Zidane’s final game

“And the referee has gone across now with his hand in his pocket”, cited the Sun. “He’s been told about it. He’s off, it’s red, it’s Zidane! You can’t excuse that, Zidane’s career ends in disgrace!”

Want to read how the refereeing team experienced this? Check out the interview with referee Horacio Elizondo.

Rule changes?

On BBC John Motson talks about the rules of football. “The laws of the game have stood the test of time and do not need much tampering with but to make it more entertaining and clear I think the offside rule needs clarifying. It has become far too complicated and it is much harder for the assistant referees.

It hit the stanchion

Very interesting situation as John Motson agreed with the referee at first instance. “It hit the woodwork”, he repeats. After replays we could see the ball has gone in. This also shows how difficult some situations for referees are at high speed in real time.

One look of the referee was enough

“So heavily, that within five minutes there was a covering on the road. But that was nothing compared with the Adams Park pitch half an hour later. It was in three or four inches of snow and the referee took one look and postponed the game.” On

Emphasise on how hard refereeing is

Let’s get back to Brian Clough and his interview with John Motson. “I think what you do to referees is nothing short of criminal”, he tells Motson. “I’ve looked at (a replay) 24 times and still couldn’t get it right. (A referee) makes a decision in the heat of the moment, with 30,000 people shouting – it should be emphasised how hard it is to referee a football match.”


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