Referee Credibility In International Rugby League

Another problem faced by International RL is the lack of referee credilibility. Referees should be neutral and selected by a strong, independent International Federation which will not tolerate any interence. Nothing is more off putting than a touring team arriving e.g. Australia and bringing it’s own referee. The home spectators then have to watch a game played under different rule interpretations than normal. France have particularly suffered from this during the past twenty years

A strong independent International Federation should also ensure that the same rules are adhered to (as much as possible) worlwide and sufficient neutral officials are available. At the moment the Australians seem to have a veto on referees for their matches meaning that an NRL referee or a tame Super League referee is always in charge. This stinks

I do not doubt the professional integrity of any referee anywhere but all referees should be impartial and more importantly, be seen to be impartial.

For many years in the UK a rule existed where a referee could not officiate in a game involving his home town club e.g. Phil Bentham and Warrington. This rule has now been discarded and as a result referees seem to bend over backward to be especially fair. It could be argued that Phil Bentham sometimes favours Warrington’s opposition to avoid any accusation of bias. It could be argued that this also happens at international level when tame referees e.g. Russell Smith are afraid to give penalties to GB/England.

It is sad that so much publicity is generated by controversial referees. We should always be discussing the match winning deeds of great players. Whether my opinions are correct or not is irrelevant. Referees are not always seen to be impartial and the accusations can be made.



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