In Defence of Ovrebo

Written by Anietie Ukpe

Friday, 8 May 2009

Referee Tom Henning Ovrebo, the official who officiated in the Chelsea vs Barcelona match did his best, psychologically speaking. It was curious for anyone to expect more from a man trained to look at the inner turmoils of men, and not the outward movements of the body. For God's sake he is a psychologist!

He did not award the disputed penalties to Chelsea not because of any conspiracy, but because, unlike the players who looked at the outward displays, he saw right into the minds and souls of each player. He saw the mind of the players who handled the ball and decided that deep in the inner recesses of their troubled mind they thought they were using their legs. It is normal in hyperactive enterprises like drowning for a man to mistake one part of the body for another - and remember that Barcelona was drowning. Clutching at straws (or balls)at such times is an acceptable behaviour in psychology - even if it is against football rules. Even Sigmund Freud would have arrived at the same decision.

Chelsea should have showed more understanding and clearly known that this match was going to be won by having clean thoughts, for this referee came to judge the intents and motives of the heart - not football skills.

For example, he sent out the Barcelona defender not because he tackled anyone wrongly but because he saw that he had the intention to do so in the immediate future. Added to this fact is that a psychologist does not believe in punishment nor penalties. He is trained in how to correct behaviour. If only Chelsea gave him more time in England, he would have turned Chelsea players, Drogba included, into gentlemen fit for the Queen's company.

I am tempted to think however that if rugby was not invented earlier, the referee would have done it with a few more refereeing like this. Somewhere along the line he would have completely allowed the players to scoop the ball with their hands and run for it. With a referee like this, we expect more variations of soccer and FIFA should consider allowing some ball handling in every game. Afterall what the leg can do, the hand can do even better.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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