Hugh Dallas

Last summer I took a look at those doing the impossible job. That of being a referee.

This subject has come up again in Scotland because of some reactions and attitudes towards the match officials.

The recent hullabaloo came about after an Old Firm game in which Neil Lennon, the Celtic manager was very critical of the referee’s decisions after their 1-0 loss. Then after this game that same ref received threatening phone calls.

But it’s not just this one Scottish referee, things are getting problematic for all match officials because of the pressure and criticism levelled at them from not just the team bosses, but the fans and media too.

…Another official, Steven Craven, resigned after criticism of his role in a reversed penalty decision the previous weekend.

And former Fifa referee Kenny Clark believes that people could be put off becoming officials if they are not treated with more respect.

“We’re perhaps heading for a crisis unless people start to recognise that we must ease the pressures being put upon referees,” Clark told BBC Scotland.

“If referees and assistants at the top level choose to resign then it diminishes the pool of officials able to handle matches in the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League.

» Full article

This isn’t the first time there has been refereeing controversy in relation to an Old Firm match, the well known and now retired ex-FIFA referee Hugh Dallas [pictured above], now the Scottish Football Association’s Referee Development Officer, was really on the receiving end of it during a match he officiated in 1999 when he was hit on the head with a coin. After a few minutes treatment he continued in the game but that was only one part of a very controversial match.

As mentioned this was in 1999 and it was May ’99 to be precise. Or even more precise than that – it was the end of the SPL season and this was the very last match (being played at Parkhead) with whoever winning to be crowned league champions.

And seeing only dollar signs in their eyes rather than the danger signs of this crucial decider, $ky Sports decided themselves that it should be a televised match on a Sunday evening…

After a couple of player warnings by Dallas in only the first few minutes, then the coin throwing incident and three players sent off during the game.

Eventually the match was won by Rangers who took the championship.

In the aftermath of the game a brick was thrown through a window at Hugh Dallas’s home, and any future Old Firm league matches to be played in the early afternoon. Plus the possibility of an Old Firm title decider has been avoided.

A few years later Dallas wrote about his experiences of refereeing an Old Firm game. And sadly he’s recently been in the headlines again.

– A few years ago the Glasgow band Mogwai named a song after him which was included on an anthology from Matador Records:

– To counteract and add some balance to this quite serious post… A few months back e-rawk emailed and pointed me to a video of a classical music piece by Dmitri Shostakovich, the Russian composer who was a certified referee.   He regularly went to watch Zenit Leningrad, now renamed FC Zenit Saint Petersburg – who have recently been in the new because of fan violence after their title win.

Oh I just made things serious again. Listen to some soothing music to calm things down…

Dance of the two soviet soccer players:

» Link to video

Ok maybe not so soothing…

Ah you want some audio to listen to as well ? A repost of a couple from the previous referee post. Hitting the post if you will.

OI REF !
» Matt McGinn – The Fitba Referee

» John MacLeods XI – Don’t Shoot The Ref

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