Who'd Want To Be A Referee

The news that Matt Ceccin had been overlooked for the final as a referee raised a eyebrows this week, the job was instead handed to Gerard Sutton. The spotlight will be firmly on Sutton for the full 80.

This decision prompted the question "if he was right then why wasn't he picked?" it's very simple, if someone is already under fire, you don't give people more ammunition, if a bad call was to be made at any point in the game Ceccin would come into more intense criticism.

It's strange to think that coming into a World Cup final, that potentially the most nervous man on the pitch is the referee, I can't blame him to be honest. Sutton will have seen the fallout of Ceccin's big call last week and will now no doubt take every decision with extra caution, which in turn will probably cause for a much slower game.

I do not envy the man in the middle at all, one bad call will be enough to send social media into a frenzy. I'm as guilty as the next person for being a social media referee and if I feel a call is wrong I will no doubt air my views, one thing that is not acceptable though is the abuse that officials have received.

This week Ceccin has received death threats, been called an "unconscious racist" and been harassed to the point that he has had to change his social media identity, to cease the floods of hate mail coming to his mailbox. There is no place in the game for this behaviour, right call or wrong call, somebody should have the right to live a normal life away from the game.

I can understand why many fans have felt hard done by, I can see the frustration of going out to what many believe is a bad call, but none of this is an excuse to gratify the behaviour displayed recently.

To the fans that protested peacefully I applaud you, for the fans put their point across in a respectful manner online between other fans, thank you. For the "fans" that partook in this appalling behaviour though, there is no room in the game for this, Rugby League is a game of respect.



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