Learn the rules!

President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Michael Ricketts has come out in defence of local referees.

Speaking against the background of a well-publicised decision in the ISSA/FLOW Super Cup last weekend, Ricketts called on spectators and others to get to know and understand the rules of football before pointing fingers at the officials.

The JFF boss Ricketts told The Gleaner yesterday that the standard of the officiating has been improving, and therefore, persons should give the referees credit for the strides that they have been making over the years.

" It is just that some of us are simply not okay with the rules and then we blame the referees because of lack of knowledge," said Ricketts.

"In fact, I don't think the refereeing is bad, and I have no issues," he added.

"We have tried to put assessors in place, and we have had numerous refresher courses. People (players and team officials) need to try and learn the rules and if they have issues, then respectfully ask the referees to explain their decisions."

Criticism not warranted

Ricketts made his comments in light of criticism of referee Leon Brown, who disallowed a last-minute strike by Jamaica College during the ISSA/FLOW Super Cup semi-final against Kingston College last Saturday at Sabina Park.

JC were trailing 2-1 in added time in the second half when Tyreek Magee fired an indirect free kick into the KC net.

The referee correctly disallowed the goal and indicated to JC's players and officials that the ball did not touch another player on its way into goal. KC went on to win the game 2-1.

"The referee was perfectly right, (he) executed perfectly well and nothing was wrong, yet a number of persons, based on passion and based on loyalty, have been cursing the official," Ricketts said.

"The referee signalled for an indirect free-kick and the youngster kicked the ball into the net, and so he must call the back the goal."

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