The referee: a man alone with his worries

Once again a refereeing error negatively affected the result of the match. It happened in Milan-Spezia where Serra for a supposed foul by Bastoni stopped the attack of Rebic, who had served Messias, whose shot under the cross had been successful.

The referee immediately realized the glaring mistake he had made but obviously could not turn back. This fact shows us once again that sometimes it is the referees who have a major influence on the outcome of the match. Technology helps but does not exempt from mistakes. This new case highlights a substantial difference between the errors of the players and those of the referees. The former have the team to take refuge in while the referees remain alone with their sense of guilt for having made a mistake, which should not have happened. Everyone agrees that mistakes are part of the game but this assumption is not enough for the referee to get out of the angst that a serious mistake causes. Serra’s mistake is like that of Jorginho who misses the decisive penalty or of the gymnasts who pursue the perfection of their performance without succeeding. We never talk about volleyball or basketball refereeing, because the referee’s choices rarely determine the final result, they are sports where points are scored in every minute of the match and the value of referee’s sanctions have less impact on the match. In soccer it is different. The goal is a rare event and the game is influenced by cautions, important facts for that game and the next.

The player goes to the field the next day and has teammates and staff to share his problems with. The referee has no one, he has no teammates, he has a boss, the manager who, if on one hand can understand him, on the other hand is the one who decides the games he will referee and if it is the case to stop him for some championship turns. The referee is alone in having to fight with the insecurities generated by a wrong choice, and I hope that in his private life he has people with whom he can share his feelings and fears, without being judged but simply accepted, because mistakes are part of any profession.

L’arbitro: un uomo solo con le sue insicurezze

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