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#2 - Jamal Khashoggi case

Why would anyone want to be a football referee? Officials blow the whistle

Par Michael Hann - 16 mn

Ref!

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Fever pitch London youth league referee Abdulkadir Arshe BEN QUINTON

It is a wet Saturday morning

in September, the kind when the prickling heat of August feel s a distant memory. In Regent’s Park , London, a man in a black shirt, shorts and socks jogs over to a group of parents watching their 14-year-old footballers warm up in the drizzle. He’s clutching two small flags, each in fluorescent yellow and orange. “I need two linesmen,” he says. Technically, he should say “assistant referees”, but we all know what he means.

I step forward. A few days earlier, I had met one of Britain’s leading assistant referees – whose decisions have seen him jeered from the stands and mocked in the House of Commons . This might give me a n inkling of what his job entails.

I try to remember what he told me: when one team is attacking my half, I don’t watch the ball; I look across the pitch, along the line of the last defender, to see if any attacking player is about to run off side. I sprin...