Category Archives: International Sport
In light of the controversy surrounding the Manchester United v Real Madrid match last night and the sending off of Nani by referee Cuneyt Cakir, we asked Keith Hackett, author of You are the Ref: a Guide to Good Refereeing for his reaction. It makes fascinating reading, and raises a number of points not currently being discussed in the media.
‘There are clearly two standards of Law interpretation operating between English officials and the rest of Europe. In European games there is a lower tolerance level for the ‘raised boot’ challenge which will be punished with either a yellow card (Reckless) or red card if the Referee deems it to be serious foul play. English teams therefore have to adapt to these differences in law interpretation.
If the challenge in the game last night was met with a swift yellow card no one would have complained. The referee however decided to give himself a lot of thinking time and may have consulted with his colleagues to receive their view before surprising the majority of spectators by issuing a red card. Our coaching of Referees at the top level is to advise that we do not want any surprises of this type, and UEFA continue to hold regular training camps for Referees. Through the use of video clips we aim to get uniformity of decision making involving all Referees.
However, the question I pose is what homework did the clubs do on the Referee? If they had done their research then they would have understood the high probability of a red card from this referee in particular. He demonstrates great courage on the BIG decisions – that is why he is rated highly amongst his peers.
You are the Ref: A Guide to Good Refereeing covers in detail the law on foul challenges. Managers. Coaches Referees and Spectators should purchase a copy!’
Keith Hackett is a former international referee and now General Manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) - the referee’s governing body and, is the Referee Ambassador for the FA, Premier League and UEFA.
Paul Trevillion, renowned artist and illustrator provides the stunning images.
Guest Post by Anna MacDiarmid, Editorial Intern for Team Sport
The first major event on the tennis calendar, the Australian Open, is well underway. And the question on every tennis fan’s lips is: who will raise the trophy this year? British number one Andy Murray has already won one trophy this year, defending his title at the Brisbane International. 2012 was a fantastic year for British tennis, along with most British sport, with Murray winning an Olympic Gold Medal and the US Open, ending the UK’s long wait for a Grand Slam Champion. Can he top 2012 with a Wimbledon win? We shall see. While Murray is the only British male tennis player in the world’s top 100, things are looking up for female tennis, with young players Laura Robson and Heather Watson entering the top 50 this year. My question is: why must we tennis fans rest all our hopes on so few contenders?
Britain is the home of tennis, so why is it we produce so few Murray-like players? Most people love to sit down to a good Wimbledon match with a Pimms in one hand and some strawberries and cream in the other, so why do we not play tennis with such devotion? This is set to change; with such a good year for British tennis last year, as well as the lasting Olympic Legacy British sport is keen to promote, things are starting to look up. Tennis does have a reputation for being an expensive sport, and I can understand this as a tennis player myself. It is rare to find a court you can play on without paying £5 a game and often you have to pay an extortionate fee to join a club. However, things are set to change, with more free courts popping up around the country as well as taster sessions allowing people to try out the sport.
One excellent organisation promoting just this is Tennis For Free (www.tennisforfree.com). TFF works with schools, tennis clubs and local authorities throughout the UK to create more opportunities for tennis communities to utilise public park court facilities for free. One of their main projects is to provide free equipment and a 2 year coaching programme delivered by qualified coaches to all ages and standards for 50 weeks of the year, for free. Their website is also an excellent resource for finding courts you can play on around the country (…for free). Just enter your postcode and browse the results for your most convenient court.
January is the month to take up a new sport and get fit, so I say take up tennis, let’s start producing our own Federers, Djokovics and Nadals. This game really is fantastic for all areas of fitness, not only does it improve your aerobic fitness, but also builds muscle and improves balance as well as being great fun! The average player will cover between 3 and 5 miles during a competitive match and burn up to 600 calories per hour. Also tennis players repeat the same movements over and over which helps to tone the body. Don’t wait for the summer, pick up your racquet and get on court.
Editorial Intern for Team Sport at Bloomsbury, Anna is a keen tennis player and has been playing on and off for about eight years; she secretly hopes to hit the big time. While admitting racquet sports are probably the only kind of exercise she really enjoys, she does also like swimming, and desperately wants to try scuba diving in a tropical underwater world one day.
You’d have to have been living under a stone not to be aware of the incredible Summer of Sport almost upon us. So, in order to whet your appetite, we’ve hand-picked a dozen tricky questions that will bring out your competitive instinct. Test your knowledge on some of the events sure to hog the back pages over the next few months. Enjoy!
Some nice easy ones to begin with:
Below are three well-known England cricketers who’ve got themselves into a right old muddle running between the wickets. Hopefully you’ll be able to help them out before the first Test Series of the summer gets underway this week:
1) WAS UNDER STARS
2) SPORTY MANE AN
3) NEW MANAGERS
The curtains have just come down on yet another highly entertaining domestic football season, yet with Chelsea’s upcoming Champions League Final appearance on the horizon, we thought we’d test both your British and European club-team knowledge of the beautiful game:
4) Who, in 1980, achieved what Sunderland did in 1979 and Villa did in 1981?
5) Which current Premier League manager became the first British player to lift the Champions League trophy?
Away from the domestic football scene, of course, looms Euro 2012. So, never one to shirk an easy link, here’s a question about it:
6) Spain was the last country to win the tournament in 2008, but which country, in 1960, was the first?
Now to one of Britain’s most feted competitions which, unfortunately, is likely to sit in the shade whilst the world watches London 2012. That’s not to say the quality of tennis should be any less enthralling though, so, to get you in the mood, here are a couple of questions that focus on great Wimbledon moments:
7) Pete Sampras and Martina Navratilova hold the record for the most Wimbledon Singles’ titles won. If you multiply their titles together, what number do you get?
8) This year marks the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, but which Brit was the last player to be crowned Wimbledon Singles’ champion when the Queen celebrated her Silver Jubilee?
And finally to London 2012, the cherry on top of the icing on the cake of a phenomenal summer of sport:
9) If Marathon is worth 13 points and Decathlon is worth 15 points, how many points would High Jump be worth?
10) In 1992, Britain’s Linford Christie won gold in the 100m, but what was his time?
a) 9.97 b) 9.94 c) 9.96 d) 9.99
11) Which three Olympic Games were cancelled due to World War I and World War II?
All square after eleven questions? Rather than settle a dead heat, this final question is designed to sort out the medal positions once and for all – let the first person to call out the answer be crowned Bloomsbury Sports Quiz Champion!
On your marks … set … go!
12) This sport might be a popular pastime with sportsmen and women across Britain when rain stops play. However, which number comes next in the sequence:
20 1 18 4 13 ?
NB: Remember to check back here in a week’s time for the answers.
Contributed by James Rennoldson, Sports Quizmaster Extraordinaire
Yesterday marked the end of an era for not only England rugby, but world rugby, with the announced international retirement of Jonny Wilkinson.
Capped 91 times for England, Wilkinson has scored a record-breaking 1,179 points for England, played in 4 World Cup campaigns and reached two finals.
Wilkinson was the second-youngest English player at 18 years and 314 days when he began his international career 13 years ago, and there was no doubt from that first entrance that he was going to be a great player. His career defining moment coming in the 2003 World Cup final against Australia when he kicked the drop-goal 17 seconds from the end of extra time, taking the score to 20-17 and securing England victory.
Blighted by injury, the extraordinarily determined England fly-half has fought back against each setback and it is this dedication to the game which has been inspirational – not only to his teammates but to players around the world. Wilkinson has always been a great ambassador for the game with his diligence and determination and much can be learned from his example.