2010 World Cup Referee Lesson – Referees Learning English Swear Words

(Editor’s Note: Referees can indeed learn about valuable skills from the experiences of the 2010 World Cup. Certainly, the problem of controlling unacceptable language is a prime concern of soccer referees world-wide. The following article is reproduced from the June 10, 2010 issue of the Wall Street journal. For related information on this important subject, see the June 2010 Web Site column “Referee Nuts and Bolts” and the article “What About Players Who Curse in a Language the Referee Does Not Understand?”)

“Referees Learn English Swear Words”

By Associated Press dated June 10, 2010, on Road Runner Web Site.

Rustenburg, South Africa. The Brazilian referee and his assistants who will work the England, United States match at the World Cup have been studying English obscenities the players might use.

Carlos Simon will referee Saturday’s match in Rustenburg assisted by Roberto Braatz and Altemir Hausmann. They want to ensure players can’t get away with abuse.

“We have to learn what kind of words the players say” Hausmann told Brazilian broadcaster Globo Sport. All players swear and we know we will hear a few.”

Braatz says they aren’t learning them in “11 different languages, but at least we have to know the swear words in English.”

FIFA denied reports that match officials have been given lists of swear words to listen for, but did say proficiency in English was a requirement for referees and assistants working the world cup.

In addition, refereeing officials briefed all teams about the rules, including the potential for players to be cautioned or sent off for abusive language or gestures.

“There should not be any surprises to any members of the teams,” FIFA spokesman Alex Stone said.

Stone said there was no requirement for referees to know any obscenities in languages other than English.

“Refereeing is an impossible job, it’s a difficult job, and emotions run high on both teams.” U. S. goalie Tim Howard said: “So we’ve been warned to keep our emotions in check and watch our mouths, and I’m sure we’re going to try to the best of our ability to do that. I don’t think it will go 100% as planned. But we’ve got a lot of respect for the referees, so there won’t be any problem from our end.”