The referees’ decisions are final, whether they have made a mistake or not — that’s what Mafco coach Stereo Gondwe must know.
For the record, Gondwe vented his frustration for losing 0-1 against Bullets on the media by shunning post-match interviews, saying the sports journalists should interview the match referee instead.
The only time referees are interviewed is for profiles after they have made themselves famous or are about to retire. When they retire they usually become advisors or trainers.
The referees are only human, they can make mistakes but a referees is assisted by the linesman who is always in a better position to see offsides than the coaches, who always are at the centre of the pitch.
Sometimes, coaches react to decisions by the referee as if they don’t know the rules of the game. These coaches are supposed to be given refresher courses on refereeing.
Post-match interviews are mandatory anywhere. Coaches, team captains or any other player needed for media interviews are supposed to attend— whether the coach is furious or not because that’s where he can vent his anger and justify how the referee was biased or incompetent.
The media is part of the game. For football to get any sponsorship, the media plays a role. When the media shun a certain section of sport, the sponsors pull out because they do not get the marketing mileage they anticipated in the first place.
Gondwe and Mafco are enjoying the pleasure of playing football because of the generosity of the sponsors, TNM, whose main purpose is not only develop the sport, but also to market themselves.
So Gondwe should heed the advice from Sulom vice-president Daudi Suleman, who said the media is part of the game. We are there to relay the vital information across the country and create the hype needed.
We never take part in the proceedings on the pitch. We never make the decisions but we follow everything and report what has transpired.
So, if Gondwe believed that the referee made several decisions against his team, he has the right channel to complain and not vent his fury on the media. Maybe he should have just gathered courage by openly criticising the ref through the media. I am quite sure he knew he would have courted controversy.
Our football officials tend to demean the role of the media because they are not really conversant of our role. To them we are business as usual, never realising the impact we play.
Like Suleman advised, we journalists should report any misbehaviour of the officials through our mediums as well to the authorities — Sulom, Fam and the referees’ body.
When officials behave this way, the young players think that’s the way to treat other stakeholders.
I am not surprised with what Red Lions players did by assaulting the referee. I think the coaches, instead of telling the players what tactic to follow, they are busy blaming the referee.
I have always said that if the referee denies you three goals, score five more and win the game to prove a point that you are that good. If your team has been caught offside on many occasions, study what is happening and tell the players at half time about how they are being offside-trapped.
Please, Mr. Gondwe, spare us from your frustration and talk to us on how to pick yourselves up from the loss
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues