In the early IFFC days, the BFA (Beijing Football Association) was in charge of refereeing our matches in which the IFFC (incl. Tian Lin as a player) experienced a stiff, but well organized refereeing system and as soon the IFFC organized their club internal referee system, finally the IFFC Organization was able to decide about which match which referee could referee. In the beginning there was surely the lack of experience. Often referees were exchanged, new referees came and went, new FIFA rules were not checked if been introduced and the gap between referees and, the organizer as well as the teams was rather wide.
For more than 10 years the IFFC developed a steady growth of IFFC experienced referees. From few meetings between the IFFC and its officials just before the season, in the break or afterwards in the old days, now the IFFC organizes a weekly sit together which includes a constructive discussion of IFFC match matters regarding the last and the upcoming matches lead by ExCo member Tian Lin. IFFC ExCo chairman Robert Gonnella is taking part at every second meeting (twice a month) and inputs from the teams point of view specific details up ’til the general mood about the matches. Also as we had before the so-called “No.1 referee” (as thought by IFFC and its teams) who refereed too many matches. This resulted in teams rebelling for always getting the same referee. As we all know, team mostly remember the referee “mistakes” (against the own team) and if just one certain official is constantly in charge for a longer period of time, his calls (right or wrong) are taken personal and (some) teams start seeing the referee as bias and unfair. Worse, the other referees (some stuck as linesmen) felt “lesser” trusted and could never developed a self confidence or gain experience which is needed to referee the “Laowais” of the IFFC (who know it always better).
Every season, the IFFC Organization aims to constantly develop and raise the quality level of the referees. With the full support of the IFFC ExCo behind OUR referees, the main goal for the club is to continue to develop the referees’ self confidence, establish a good cooperation and communication (among the referees themselves and with the ExCo, and teams) and ensure the review and study of the constantly changing rules (FIFA Rules as well as IFFC Rules). The IFFC set up a following system:
As referees also grade the team’s appearance performance (behavior and manners), each team gives the referee a grade after the match. In order to achieve a better understanding of the grade, each team is encouraged to write comments of the referee performance on the match sheet. When a bad grade is given, explain why, his errors and what he could have done better or instead. The more time you spend on your explanation, the better the chance is, that in the weekly referee meeting, the mistakes are properly reviewed and discussed and a better solution found for next time. Speaking or even yelling at the referee during and after the match does not reach the referee’s mind and soul, especially when you or your team members are in a very excited (angry) mood. It will rather be counter productive and the referee(s) rather believe that the frustration (for example match loss) is fully put on him or linemen to blame. Shouted at, yelled at or constantly being criticized during a match, there would any human being just “shut off the brain” and think “let the complainer just talk and I anyway have no energy to listen whatever” even though there was a rightfully complained mistake which in the end (in a right way expressed like writing it in the report) could be dealt with and corrected among with the other referees. The referee expects to be respected as a human being as well as his decisions, even though human error in refereeing exists everywhere in world including the world cup.