I have a feeling that in some of the games we have seen this season already, the referees like to make the game about them.

VAR brings another layer to the game and the expectation is the correct decisions will be made even after an incident has happened, but it could be more help for the ref on the field if they use it with efficiency and the decision was always clear cut and obvious. The handball rule in particular has caused a lot of chaos so far this season and it means the officials are at the centre of the controversy around games, and are having a big impact on results.

When I was playing I came across some referees that didn’t want you to even talk to them. Before the game I would get together with him and his officiating team, as well as the opposition team captain. They would usually say that as the captain you could go to them whenever there is anything our team would like to say. But the moment the sweat drops down on his face and he’s in the middle of an intense game, you feel it affects his decision making.

He becomes very defensive and tells you not to talk to him. Sometimes it would go so far that you have to point to your captain band to ask him if you can talk to him. This is one of the things I feel needs to be clear for the players and anyone involved with the game. It can get emotional on the pitch and everyone needs to understand the rules. The refs are there to make sure we play by the rules.

The game should not be impacted by the referee wielding his power. Everyone know he has a red card in his pocket and can use it where he wants and that’s a tool that referees use to make sure players are quieter. #mmlove