I was brought up in an era when the match official, whatever the sport, was always right, even if he or she was wrong!! Mistakes were accepted as part and parcel of the game and although there were the occasional confrontations between players and officials on the pitch, that was generally the end of the matter.
During my early childhood, live sporting events were fairly rare. Grandstand on the BBC and World of Sport, on the rough lot, as my dad called the ITV, would screen live horse racing. The Beeb would also show the second half of a rugby league game, with commentary by the legendary Eddie (up ‘n under) Waring. Highlight programmes, such as, Match of the Day and The Big Match were in their infancy.
In those early days of football on TV there was very little “expert” analysis of the action by former players and almost no scrutiny of decisions made by officials. As technology advanced, slow motion replays were introduced. It was from this point on that errors made by officials were magnified.
Fast forward to the current day. More and more pressure is being heaped upon officials, at the top level, to make the correct decisions. This has led to the most up-to-date technology being made available to assist with this process and eliminate the “howlers”. We now have VAR, for football, TMO, in rugby and Hawkeye in cricket and tennis.
Reviewing an incident can seem to take ages on occasions, often with no guarantee that the final decision is 100% correct, as the review still involves some human intervention. There is no fool-proof way of eliminating officiating errors completely from elite sport, so debates will continue.
In the Vanarama National League South, officials make their decisions as they see fit and like the players, they will make mistakes, some of which can be costly. I have done some refereeing so I know how difficult it is to get every decision correct, but like all who officiate I am only human.
In everyday life, it is impossible not to commit the odd misdemeanour from time to time. No one is perfect, not least of all your Chaplain!!
According to the Bible, Jesus is the only human who lived the perfect life that God requires of all “those made in His image”. The “experts” of the day examined His life in the most minute detail and struggled to find any errors. In the end, they came up with a false claim, which He didn’t contest. He took the unjust punishment, which wiped out all the red and yellow cards collected by those who acknowledge their guilt. They will then have a 100% perfect disciplinary record in the eyes of God, which sounds like the perfect result to me!!
Updated 17:13 - 5 Mar 2019 by HRBFC Press Team