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Men In Black: Injustice Watch!

Men In Black: Injustice Watch!

Saturday's defeat away at Southampton, and more potently our disallowed goal, highlighted not only that we're incredibly unlucky at present, but that perhaps we`ve registered our name onto a list of footballing casualties at the hands of the beautiful games rulebook.

As Danny Coid whipped in the cross for Gary Taylor-Fletcher to head home the equaliser for the travelling Seasiders, it appeared that referee Iain Williamson blew his whistle for a foul on the full back, which resulted in a freekick for Blackpool outside the area, which nothing came of. However, the time difference between ball leaving Coidy`s foot and meeting GTF's head was minimal.

Why couldn`t the man in black wait for play to develop before blowing for the foul and giving us the freekick? This is where there is a massive loophole in the rules: 'The referee may 'call back' play and penalise the original offence if the anticipated advantage does not ensue within a short period of time, typically taken to be four to five seconds.' The whole ruling opens itself to personal interpretation, and thus serious confusion and as we saw on Saturday, anguish.

But why couldn't Mr Williamson wait for just five, even four seconds, to blow his whistle? I`m not one for criticsising referees generally, but I don't see why the ref had to blow straight away, and not allow common sense to prevail and wait for play (and a goal!) to develop?

Is it time for FIFA to introduce a new ruling, that doesn`t allow for personal interpretation by refs, ala Rugby? Having watched the World Cup recently, the thing that struck me most (apart from the respect shown to officials) was that advantages were dictated by the players. If, for example, the defending side had committed an offence, the referee would stick his hand up in the air, communicate that an advantage had ensued, and the attackers could then either ask for the penalty (freekick in Football speak of course!) or carry on with their attack as before. An advantage in Rugby also lasts far longer than the guided 'four or five seconds' in Football, and although fully aware that Rugby is a much slower sport than Football, I believe something similar would clearly have its benefits.

Take Saturday as an example, the attack would've carried on, we would`ve scored, the game's at 1-1 and there for the taking at that point. Three points would've taken us 18th, but now we sit in 21st, level on points with QPR, who are in the relegation zone only by goal difference.

As for the overall refereeing performance, our voters on the forum saw him as poor, and gave him an average score of just 1.3, but it begs the question on what ratings he would`ve achieved if the ambiguous advantage rule wasn't so?

Couple Saturday's rating of 1.3 with his prior score of 1.1, which he accumulated in the playoff semi final against Oldham Athletic, Williamson's Men In Black rating stands at 1.2, which obviously sees him languishing in the lower reaches of our table, which stretches to over 30 referees now.

Pos Name
P
Y
R
R
1 K Hill
1
2
0
4.4
2 A D'Urso
2
1
0
3.7
3 A Talyor
1
0
0
3.55
4 G Sutton
1
1
0
3.5
5 C Oliver
1
0
0
3.4
= E Iderton
1
0
0
3.4
7 M Clattenburg
1
2
0
3.36
8 M Russell
1
0
0
3.03
9 M Pike
1
1
0
3
10 C Foy
2
3
0
2.75
11 S Mathieson
1
0
0
2.6
= M Dean
1
0
0
2.6
13 K Wright
1
1
0
2.6
14 A Marriner
2
2
0
2.2
15 A Hall
1
2
0
2.3
16 RJ Lewis
1
1
0
2.25
= R Olivier
2
5
0
2.25
17 K Friend
1
3
0
2.21
18 C Webster
1
1
0
2.1
19 M Heywood
1
0
0
2
20 Mark Halsey
1
0
0
1.9
= N Miller
1
0
0
1.75
22 J Moss
1
1
0
1.72
23 A Penn
1
2
0
1.5
= D Deadman
1
2
0
1.5
= L Probert
1
2
0
1.5
26 G Laws
1
1
0
1.3
27 S Bratt
1
4
0
1.3
28 Mr Thorpe.
1
2
1
1.2
29 I Williamson
2
4
0
1.2
30 G Atkins
2
2
0
1,1
31 T Kettke
1
2
0
1
32 M Jones
1
3
0
1
33 P Talyor
1
2
1
1

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Writer:Editor
Date:Monday November 26 2007
Time: 5:23PM

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