Far from the image created by Will Smith and hollywood film makers, fear and respect is something which football's men in black fail to create the image of. Consistency under pressure, having their decision reversed and being barrated by angry sets of player are just three of the 'perks' of the job of a modern day official.
It's something of a cliche for players, manager and supporters to blame the referee after a disapointing or disasterous result, being an official combines necessity with a terrible feeling of eventuality that your every move, your position and your every dicisions is being questioned and queried by someone somwhere.
Yet though it seems that in football everyone realises and occasionally aknowledges the difficulty of the job and no matter how many times the authorities plead for understanding, week after week, game after game, player after player questions the decisions of another mortal human being with flaws just like himself. The simple fact is that referees cannot spot everything, athough assisted by linesman and fourth officials, no player will turn around when brought down on the edge of box and awarded a penalty,
"Actually ref it was outside the box"
players are not like that, football simply isnt played in that way.
The pressure for consistency comes from the pressure that the game is under in a general sense from supporters who expect to be entertained but also succeed, from managers who expect results and more commonly from shareholders who expect dividends and these parties are all dependant on one man, who just happens to posess the whistle.
It is indeed difficult to understand the plight of an official unless you have undertaken some officiating yourself. The magnitude of their job is impossible to imagine even then, with constant playacting, dishonest and psychological warfare becomming and increased part of the game. Even the simple academic decisions can be difficult to judge let alone the heat of a moment choice between issuing a red or a yellow card at a crucial time.
The pace of football and the lack of replays available to officials means that even with the best will in the world , some decisions made will be wrong, it is simply in the nature of the game. Even television pundits with the use of slo-mo and reverse angle views take time to spot exactly what has occured. But yet we still expect officials to make the correct choice and take the right action in real time with a naked eye?
Sounds silly? But this is the way of the footballing world.
Although over protected from criticism by football authorities, referees should not be exemt from the blame but not always made to be the scapegoat when things go wrong.
Managers and supporters should prehaps look internally and point the finger at wasteful finishing, slopping passing or rash decision making by one of their own instead of choose to see the world through 'their clubs coloured spectacles' or simply learn that football is a game and it's not all about winning.