Gui Amor to blame for two match suspension

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Amid a flurry of questionable refereeing decisions in the recent weeks of the A-League, much discussion has been had about the ability of Australia’s top football officials and the standard of officiating in the competition.

The most notable of these decisions was that of Jarred Gillett, who sent Adelaide United coach Guillermo Amor back to the stands after he made intentional contact with the fourth official against Perth Glory in Round 7.

Amor was suspended for two games – one in addition to the mandatory one-match ban for being sent off – and will now have to watch his side’s clash with Wellington Phoenix this Sunday from the rafters.

And where is the discussion around that?

It is not acceptable for any player or coach, at any level of any sport, to assault an official. Amor claims he was simply trying to get the attention of the official to remonstrate the goal that Perth had been allowed, but in the end he left his technical area and made bodily contact with a person commissioned to run the game fairly.

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Not on.

And yet the pundits and the press have been particularly quiet on this topic. Following the revelation that Amor was to be suspended for a second match, with a suspended sentence for two more hanging over his head, social media was inundated with criticism of the officiating.

But that’s the game. Match officials do a tough, largely thankless job, and without them sport at any level would not exist. It’s because volunteers referee their kids’ games at 8 AM on a Saturday morning that professional players exist. Some of these volunteers make a career out of it, but the sanctity of their role should not be undermined by brutish behaviour from anyone outside of their community, regardless of the level of play.

To his credit, Amor has accepted that his dissent towards Gillett’s decision against Perth was unacceptable, but he denied pushing the fourth official. With no video evidence available, Football Federation Australia’s Independent Disciplinary and Ethics Committee found in favour of the match official’s testimony and handed down their punishment, which the Adelaide boss has accepted without appeal.

What outsiders should realise is that football is a game of humans, and humans sometimes make mistakes. Referees should be criticised for theirs where appropriate, but it needs to be proportionate.

Too often, and unfairly, Australian football fans are labelled as barbarians by narrow-minded fools who have nothing to do with the game. Shoving a referee and then blaming the referee for being shoved only gives those fools the ammunition to keep firing, and no one wants that.

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