Martin Dowey’s weekly column: Rooney’s bad example

4/02/11Martin Dowey hs 110554 sport
4/02/11Martin Dowey hs 110554 sport

I have leapt to the defence of match officials in recent weeks, but this week I’m approaching from a different angle to prove a point.

Now this week we have seen a number of referees being absolutely hammered by players, managers and pundits at the game’s highest level.

Yes Jack Rodwell shouldn’t have been sent off and Wolves probably shouldn’t have had their goal ruled out against Newcastle in the top flight.

There has been plenty of air-time for people having a go at the men in black and one television station are airing a programme this week which is about the top few refereeing decisions that changed the world.

Now in 1986 as a young lad I was gutted when Maradona handled the ball into the back of the net against England and in 1998 my mate Scott sat cross-legged in the corner for a good few hours when Sol Campbell’s goal was disallowed and Argentina beat England again.

Neither of these two decisions really changed the world.

They may not feature in the programme, but there again I’m not going to watch it, but if any refereeing decisions in my life were going to change the way we live, these would be the closest.

Anyway, I have been dabbling with a bit of rugby union viewing in recent weeks.

I was a guest with the Evening News crew at Scarborough RUFC’s victory against York last month and I’ve also been watching a bit of World Cup action, due to the fact that my daughter likes to be up when these games are on.

Never, in the game at Silver Royd, or at the games in New Zealand, are refereeing decisions questioned, pondered or even considered to be world changing.

When the ref, who in rugby is called sir, makes his ruling, the players, commentators and pundits all get on with it.

They are more bothered about the action rather than they guy who is keeping the action going.

In cricket, even at local league level, you have to appeal to the umpire, even if it is a clear decision, as a mark of respect.

Rugby referees and cricket umpires make mistakes as well.

Now, if you look at all levels of football, the referees are given an endless stick for every decision. Yes a few of their decisions are wrong.

I was given a yellow card the other Sunday, despite the fact that I clearly got the ball.

At the top level it is ridiculous.

We can all lip-read what Wayne Rooney spends most of his afternoons and Champions League evenings saying to the match officials.

This can filter right the way down to junior football.

If Rooney can get away with it, why shouldn’t everyone have a go?

This problem will probably never be ironed out, and as the stock of top-level football continues to rise, the abuse will surely escalate.

As Carlos Tevez proves week-in, week-out, the attitude of a lot of the high-earning players isn’t the greatest.

If I refused to write a story or if Joe Bloggs laid down tools when asked to lay a brick, I’m sure our gaffers would be delighted.

I’d love an extra two weeks off on full pay.

I’m sure it would be a dream for a referee to trot out at any level of football and be called sir by players. I can guarantee it won’t happen though.