What was it like officiating at Afcon?
Afcon is a tough tournament to referee at as it’s the football showpiece of the African continent and the pressure to get every decision correct is immense. We saw two matches in the second round of group matches where the referees made a few decisions which changed the outcome of the match and these referee never got another game. I was sent home after the Togo vs Tunisia match due to various decisions I had taken or not taken.
What do you make of referees getting abuse from players during matches?
Whenever I meet youngsters who want to start refereeing I tell them that you will always get abuse. It’s going to happen because it’s a game of two teams and one team will be happy with you and the other won’t be. Just because you see a player abusing a referee it doesn’t mean that we hear it, as our next movement is to get to the next point of play so this abuse normally happens behind our backs. This is particularly true in England where the game is so quick and the referees have to be very quick to get into position for the restart.
Do you think goal line tech is a good thing for the game? Will it make your job easier?
Goal line technology will be good for the game as it will enable us to get the decisions regarding whether a ball crossed the line and was indeed scored correct. The implementation of the technology is the problem. Some leagues in the world will be able to afford it and others obviously won't. So where you have the rich leagues getting their decisions right, the “poorer” leagues will be left behind. The good thing about the current technology is that if the referee is not happy with the pre-match tests, he can opt for the system not to be used.