Terminating A ‘Friendly’

As a relatively new referee — I’m in my ninth MONTH as a U.S. Soccer Federation referee — I’m still experiencing a lot of stuff for the first time.

On Sunday, I terminated a ‘friendly’ game between two local U-11 girls club teams in the second half after the visiting team’s coach kept threatening to take his girls off the field if I didn’t call the game more evenly, or “it’s gotta be 50-50,” is the way he put it, over and over.

Now, I had no affiliation with either team, but was being paid by the home team to work the game. I had never met either coach, didn’t have a relative playing in the game or otherwise have any meaningful relation to anyone involved.

It’s pretty standard procedure, overall. Even so, the visiting coach was not happy with the game I was calling. And he let me know it, over and over.

And after I called his team for offside (she was obviously in an advanced position) he went ballistic and said, “Are you sh*tting me?”

I stopped the game. Told him that if that was to be the way he was going to conduct himself, he might as well take his team and go home.

“You want me to take my team off the field?” he asked.

“Dude. I do not care.”

He told his girls to leave the field and I blew my whistle signaling the end of the game. His team lost, 1-0, but two of his girls said, “Thanks anyway, ref.” Several of the home team’s player shook my hand and told me they thought I did a good job.

Whatever. The tale of two sides, ya know? I was happy to work the game, even if it was played in mostly steady rain.

It’s just unfortunate this coach had to be first-class douche and ruin in for everyone.

Oh, and club sidelines… what a disgrace to decorum and sportsmanship. Those parents should be ashamed of themselves, and frightened about what they’re teaching their children.

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Filed under Referee, Soccer

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