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Dirty Tackle

Referee holds up ‘Respect’ armband as defense against angry manager

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

Players and referees have been wearing armbands and patches as part of UEFA's Respect campaign and they are routinely ignored as the exact opposite behavior is often exhibited. But the ref for Saturday's Eredivisie match between Groningen and VVV, Serdar Gozubuyuk, tried to use his "Respect" armband as a shield from the furious shouts of Groningen manager Robert Maaskant.

Groningen were forced to play almost the whole match with 10 men after Leandro Bacuna was sent off in the sixth minute, so Maaskant had plenty of time to be angry at the officials. In the 57th minute, with the score still 0-0, the ref had enough and held up his armband in front of Maaskant.

Respect for match officials is an especially important topic in the Netherlands at the moment as a linesman died after being beaten by players at a youth match earlier this month. This likely influenced Gozubuyuk's decision to take his stand, which seemed to defuse the situation. Maybe more officials should give this a try when surrounded by players upset with their decisions?

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