It isn’t much to say but referees have an extremely hard job.
Having to contend with riled up players every time they are on the pitch, whatever calls they make are maligned by whichever team feels it is being wronged.
However, the truly acrid part of this absolutely thankless gig is the horrible insults that they receive from fans day in and day out.
Indeed, this sort of long term exposure to abuse can have a detrimental impact on the health of these officials – many regularly receive death threats and there have been cases where they’ve taken their own lives.
This is why it is always appreciated when fans manage to criticize refs without being too abrasive about it.
One such incident came yesterday, after Premier League top dogs Liverpool suffered a controversial 1-0 defeat away to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League round of 16 match.
While Liverpool did not look anywhere near their best, their downfall was helped along to a great extent by some sub-par refereeing from match official Szymon Marciniak.
It must be noted that the Polish referee has some history with the Reds, when he gave away a full 6 yellow cards in total to Liverpool players nearly two years ago in a Champions League group stage against PSG.
Last night, he was in abysmal form again, handing out undeserved fouls left and right, including a crucial throw in mistakenly given to Atletico that led to their goal. He even managed to penalize manager Jürgen Klopp.
The Anfield faithful, though irate at the official, found a very creative and hilarious way to get back at him: they edited his Wikipedia page –
Liverpool fans showing the footballing world that you could very easily pull someone’s leg without being toxic about it.