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League of Ireland refereeing – should it be at a higher standard?

One of the toughest jobs in football is officiating. Having to deal with high pressure situations on a regular basis. Dealing with managers and players in every match, challenging your every decision, that would eventually make you think twice. Football brings emotions to the core, whether from the fans, players or the management staff and officials have to deal with that.

However, the officials know what they have signed up for and expect these pressure moments. With every game across the footballing world, mistakes are made. Some are human error and some are just absolutely incredible.

FIFA finally put their heads together and voted in the VAR, which was used at this summers confederations cup. It didn’t have the best of trials as there was still some mistakes, not by the technology but by the referee’s interpretation of the rules. The word ‘interpretation’ gets thrown around a lot by officials and in the laws of the game, when it can be simplified much easier.

The VAR has been introduced in the German Bundesliga and Italy’s Serie A for this season. So far it has worked to perfection with the technology been used in every game on the opening weekend in Germany. This isn’t because the officials are poor but more to do with the game been just too fast for them.

Here in the league of Ireland however, we will not see any introduction of any technology so the decisions that we see on a weekly basis will remain. The officials that represent the league here, and in European games do their best but are often way off the mark. We must remember that the officials here are just part time and do have their own day-to-day jobs.

Over the last few seasons we have seen some outrageous decisions and I have put together 3 clips from some of the incidents in 2017. All of the clips are taken from every Soccer Republic episode so far this season. These are the decisions that were shown and I’m sure there was a lot more questionable ones that weren’t shown.

The quality of the clips are not great but certainly get the point across. This isn’t in anyway a dig at the officials as they do it to the best of their ability but it’s more to do with the lack of consistency we see on a weekly basis. Human error does most certainly play a big part but it’s often used as an excuse for just poor decision making.

As we come towards the business end of the season the officials temperature will hit max as sides battle for safety, silverware and league titles.

Aaron Doherty

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