I won’t talk about football as a game, but about the behavior of the audience, in this case mainly about the behavior of parents. My daughter has played football in a boy team and now in a girl team. She played with boys when she was between 8-11 years old. During those years I rarely met bad behavior from parents side, but from coaches yes. Some coaches yelled at the referees and a couple of time some of the coaches were suspended for a limited period of time. The thing that shocked me most was that once I asked why teams don’t use some young football players as referees and pay them a little bit. The answer was that they can’t because coaches and parents yell and insult regularly referees. I couldn’t believe that this was just a fact, nothing scandalous according to them.
Then for a couple of years my daughter didn’t play football. During these years I participated to tennis and judo games in which my children participated. There was a respect towards referees in all the matches I saw. Then this autumn a girl team asked her, because they needed a goalkeeper, to join the team. So, I found myself again among other parents and inside the football culture. I have already written how difficult it was to register her to FIGC.
Now I have had an opportunity to watch several matches. Her coach is a gentleman, doesn’t insult referees and only gives advises to players when needed. But the parents. In the last match there was a man (I presume a father of a player) among the adversary parents that shouted and commented to the referee and to players in a really arrogant way. Unfortunately there were some other parents with him that did the same thing. The referee was a young guy with very little experience. However we have to remember that we talk about the match between the teams that are composed of girls born between 2001-2003. Still in this category important is to play and have fun. In the end of the match one girl from adversary team was so arrogant when she said to referee: “oh, ciao arbitro!”, but from the tone of her voice and her body language everybody understood that it was an insult. Then one of adversary team’s parents shouted to girl: “Get angry during the match, not afterwards”.
Yesterday evening I watched from TV serie A match between Lazio and Napoli. In one point the referee interrupted the match due to some racist comments from public. I ask is this the culture we want to transfer to our children? Is this educative?