Wednesday, 3 March 2010
We've all seen it at some point during the days of playing youth football. The obnoxious parent, that insists on making his presents felt off the pitch, while the child and the rest of the team cringes at each scornful remark.
Luckily, my parents resisted the temptation of marching up and down the touchline, angrily bellowing out incomprehensible instructions, opting in favour of serene calm instead -Thankfully. Though, if anything, maybe their polite and admiring respect for the managers tactics and coaching, might have been the reason I spent my early years playing as a left back. Yes, a left back! For those who have played with me, or against for that matter, since I started plying my trade at the opposite end of the field, will no doubt be shaking heads in disbelief at the prospect of me defending anything beyond the oppositions half.
The nostalgic trip down memory lane was prompted by the FA's latest efforts in their Respect campaign, daringly called, "Are you losing it?" The "Are you losing it?" web site can be seen here, and, one of the videos is below. I would like to have seen something a bit more graphic in the video, instead of narration over a panning out shot of an innocent, if not bemused looking child, but the FA's campaign seems to be heading in the right direction.
The number of qualified referees is up 9% this year, while cautions for dissent in the Premier League are down 37% on last season. Despite the encouraging numbers, perhaps if efforts were targeted at the pro's, the Respect campaign might be even more effective. We still see players berating referees for controversial decision, so much so that it doesn't take a genius to lip read the not so respectful language employed.