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The Keith Hackett column - Dealing with dissent

There is no doubt that if allowed to go unchecked in a game, dissent will undermine your authority and will lead you on a path to a loss of respect and control if you are weak.

At the first sign of dissent by word or action take this opportunity to assert your authority. I would advise you to take the player to one side and if appropriate issue a public warning that you will not tolerate this type of behaviour.

Players and spectators alike will be in hearing distance and your verbal warning will permeate across both sets of players.

If the dissent is open and public then of course you can act immediately by issuing a caution (yellow card).

If the player is guilty of using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures then a red card and dismissal is the appropriate course of action to take.

Mass dissent

The piece of art drawn by world famous artist Paul Trevillion (above) shows the type of mass dissent which can put you under pressure and even create some doubt in your mind about the decision that you have made that has caused this unacceptable behaviour.

Remain confident and demonstrate courage along with concentration.

If a group of players are heading for you to dispute your decision then hold your ground and lean forward and be firm.

The player leading the pack should be shown the yellow card and I would certainly look to show a second player a yellow card to re-assert your authority and this should make a clear statement to everyone that this behaviour of mass dissent will not be tolerated.

In addition to your report to the authorities detailing your cautions I would recommend that you give details of this mass action by players in an additional report.

So do not let anyone spoil your enjoyment be firm and fair and remember to stamp out the first sign of dissent.

Keith Hackett

You are the Ref – Paul Trevillion/Keith Hackett


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