Blackpool boss Ian Holloway speaks out about female officials

By on January 26, 2011 - 27 views

“The game belongs to everybody on the planet. For ladies to like it is fantastic, for ladies to play it is brilliant, and for ladies to officiate is no different. They only thing I’ve ever found, with my wife, is that I can find my way around better than her without satnav. Everything else, she does a lot better than me,” Holloway told The Telegraph.

“So why can’t a linesperson be a better linesperson than a man? Her decision as I saw it on the telly was absolutely bang on. My experience of it is that is some of these people are at the so-called top of the game then lets have a look at some fresh people and see how good they are.

“Without officials we wouldn’t have a game. I just have a problem in the modern day with the way they have to be assessed by even Andy Gray and his little machine. I was just at a game where there was a blatant penalty. The linesperson said he was too far up to actually call it so he couldn’t overrule the referee. The fourth official had no screen to watch with a five-second delay so a free-kick was given outside the box. And we all saw it was a blatant penalty for West Brom, which might have changed the course of how things were going for them.

“So all I’m saying is that fourth official should be in a little box, with a five-second delay monitor, which is easy to do now, and he would have gone ‘penalty’. He could have informed the ref that actually the foul had not taken place outside the box but inside. No one could have argued.

“The people at the top of the game say you can’t do that on a parks pitch, but no one wants that on a parks pitch. They just want the top of the game to be right. They don’t play to the same rules on park pitches anyway. They don’t wait until a player touches the ball to flag for offside.

“It’s madness. You see it in tennis, you see it in cricket, [technology] will enhance the game, not ruin it. We should insist on it, then none of us would be sent off at the wrong time, or booked for screaming and shouting at referees for our foul and abusive language because every decision will be right.

“It’s not refs behind the goal, and extra ones in the Champions League, that ain’t going to work. USE THE TV FOOTAGE! For Christ’s sake, it’s so easy. And that’s the bloke’s job, and he’s also got to control the time. Give him two jobs! Or it might be a woman, because they can multi-task. How about that? Because we bloody well can’t, can we?

“And the biggest laugh is a ref can’t be wrong. But by the end of the game we all know he’s bloody wrong, because we’re given the benefit of technology and he isn’t!

“A long time ago when I was a player I was asked to do a training session with a London ladies team. I popped along thinking it wasn’t going to be very good and I got nutmegged twice by the centre forward. She played for England and she was different class. I’ve got total, massive respect for women’s football. All football is a special thing. I’ve loved it all my life and everybody should enjoy it.”

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Steve Morris

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