Pro Soccer Referee Starts Facebook Page To Explain His Calls
Ever wish that you could log onto an umpire's Facebook page and post a few well-placed shit emojis when he makes a horrible call? Me too. But one Swedish soccer referee is way ahead of us -- he's put up a Facebook page where he discusses his calls, and other soccer-related topics, for all the world to see.
Mohammed Al-Hakim, who works in Allsvenskan, Sweden's top soccer league, has started the Facebook page Fotbollsdomaren. His posts have a ton of feedback -- thousands of likes and sometimes more than a hundred comments on a single post -- which can only be a good thing in the long run, he says.
Amusingly, most of the photos on his page are of himself reffing. Al-Hakim told Swedish soccer website Fotbollskanalen (via Huffington Post):
“I believe in openess and dialogue. The main idea is that I want to create interest [in our occupation] and I think the football family can gain from getting a better insight and understanding of a referee’s situation."
"I want to show my side of officiating and want to balance the picture [there is of us] in the media. I want to increase the accessibility in the football family.”
This is a great idea, by the way, and should be done here. There's a small degree of accountability in the NFL, for instance, with retired refs Mike Pereira (Fox) and Mike Carey (CBS) giving their views on officiating during games. But if I were commissioner (hooo boy), I would make it mandatory for every ref to have a Facebook page, and address issues following every game. And allow comments.
Same with the NBA and MLB -- the latter group the most in need of some public oversight. Just explain yourselves, fellas -- that's all we ask. And with the added accessibility would come a greater public understanding of how difficult a job this is. And that's Al-Hakim's point.
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