Monday, June 18, 2018

Officials need to be brought to task over terrible decisions

David Nugent in Editorial, FA Cup, General Soccer News 16 Apr 2012


I feel like a broken record when I talk about poor decisions by officials this season.

They are only human but certain officials keep making high profile mistakes.

Yesterday’s FA Cup semi-final between Tottenham and Chelsea produced some questionable decisions to say the least.


Yesterdays referee Martin Atkinson produced yet another terrible blunder.

The referee decided to award Chelsea a goal despite replays showing that the ball was nowhere near over the Tottenham goalline. It was difficult to see if the ball had crossed the line with so many bodies in the way of the goalline.

If the referee wasn’t certain he shouldn’t have given the goal, its as simple as that. Instead he pointed to the centre circle to award the Blues a goal. Neither of the referee’s assistant gave the goal but the referee took the decision himself.

The official could have given Chelsea keeper Peter Cech a red card as well, after he brought down Spurs striker Emmanuel Adebayor when he was through on goal.

Gareth Bale put the loose ball into the net, so Atkinson was let off. Whether Spurs would have preferred to have been playing against ten men and have a penalty than a goal remains to be seen but that could have changed the game.


Martin Atkinson has made poor errors this season already, notably sending Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell in a Merseyside derby, when replays showed that the youngsters tackle didn’t deserve a dismissal.

Atkinson needs to be brought to task over his poor decisions. He simply isn’t good enough to referee high profile games. He seems to get overawed by the big occasions and influenced far too easily by players on the pitch and crowds.

He doesn’t seem mentality strong enough to cope with the big games. I think its time that Atkinson is dropped from the Premier Leagues referees list. He may fare better in the lower leagues where there is less pressure on officials.


There is no doubt that his decisions yesterday changed the game. They may not have been definitive with Chelsea winning 5-1 but the score line would certainly not have been the same without those decisions.


The goal that never was is yet another argument for goal line technology. This is exactly the sort of incident that goal line technology would prevent. It would have taken just a few seconds to have checked whether the ball was over the line or not.

It took just as long for the referee to deal with Tottenham’s remonstrations over the incident. If Martin Atkinson had saw the replay then surely he wouldn’t had given that goal and the correct decision would have been made.

Luckily enough it appears that goal line technology is closer to coming into effect in the next few years. Both the FA and FIFA have acknowledged that goal line technology is now in the final stages of testing.


The speed of the game has increased in recent years and maybe the match officials do need the assistance of video technology to help them out. They are human beings and sometimes make mistakes but the introduction of goal line technology will take a lot pressure off the officials.

It would make referee’s lives far easier and they wouldn’t receive so much criticism. Until then though the likes of Martin Atkinson need to improve their performances or they should find themselves demoted to the football league.

When players make mistakes they are punished or dropped. However there seems to be no punishment for terrible decisions by officials. There should be and now is the time for the FA to act for the sake of the game in this country.

Should officials be punished for terrible mistakes?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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2 Comments on "Officials need to be brought to task over terrible decisions"

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Roy Smith
Roy Smith

One more Chelsea-favouring ref against Barca and I’ll support goal line technology. All jokes aside, the outcome would have been mightily different had Chelsea been up against Spurs 2-1 with ten men. Some of these referees this season have been horrendous, but that could be because we are so much faster to point fingers than to congratulate on a job well done. But most of these ref blunders seem to favour Chelsea so…

Owolagba peter

Those referee’s should be punish after making a costly mistakes

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