Opinion: The Underestimated Power Of A Referee’s Whistle

The Underestimated Power Of A Referee's Whistle
Referee Lamptey Joseph Odarte during 2018 World Cup Qualifiers match between South Africa and Senegal at Peter Mokab Stadium, November on the 12 November 2016 © Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Mostly, whenever the word referee is mentioned, it gives the idea of a  personality to whom conflicts are directed to for resolution or judgement, and this is not different at all in the game of football.

But it is their decisions,  that leave a  lot of questions, unanswered on the field of play,  juxtaposing their name(referees) to their delivery of duty.

In the game of football,  referees are the officials in charge of it on the field, within which the one with the greatest power in decision making is the centre referee,  who possesses the whistle as well.

Day in, day out, we hear of criminal activities of armed robbers, who steal huge sums of money by possessing guns, knives and other weapons and we become worried about it.

Meanwhile,  things greater than these are happening on our pitches and on our television sets yet we keep quiet about them. I perfectly agree that referees do not possess guns and knives but the danger of their whistles are nothing different.

For example,  just as a  robber’s weapon can make an innocent person lose huge sums of money,  his or her life as well as deny people their destinies a whistle can do same.

In a  scenario where a  referee’s decision denies a  team of winning a  competition, they lose out on the prize money, disappointed emotional fans can lose their lives,  moreover,  if it is a  local competition and the winners will have to feature in a  global tournament,  the real talents to feature will get covered, hence destinies denied.  And this is what a  referee’s weapon(a  weapon) is capable of doing,  though it is neither a  gun nor a  knife.

This written piece is not in any way to justify robbery,  it is rather to serve as an  ‘’eye-opener’’ to the society that, a harmless weapon(whistle) is being used for perpetrations just as other harmful tools and the effects differ in no way. And it is about time,  the football fraternity takes a look at refereeing and put measures in place for evaluation in order for alleviation if not the total evacuation of its negative effects.

Written by: Nyarko-Boateng Emmanuel(Exequiel Paulo Dybala)


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