I Love English Referees

Alan Wiley Referee, Tottenham Hotspur Blog NewsFirst off, I would like to congratulate Portsmouth FC, their fans, their players and management team on reaching the F.A. Cup Final.

Secondly, I would also like to thank the English F.A. for all the hard work they put in to churning out the best referees in Europe.

Niko Kranjcar should be put on trial after fouling someone in the area, which in turn led to our goal being disallowed, and rightly so!

Just for the record, I wasn't being serious, well, apart from the praising of Portsmouth bit.

How many times are we going to get screwed on by referees? Let me explain what happened yesterday.

I'm currently in Cyprus and will be until the Martin Chivers Bash (8th & 9th May).

Now, Cypriot football has come on leaps and bounds in the last few seasons (or so the locals tell me). Thing is, it's clearly obvious that it's fixed. Referees live in bigger houses than the players, but have extremely short careers as most of them need to retire by the time they're 45 due to death sentence threats.

I was invited to watch yesterday's match in a friendly pub called Murphy's. It was packed out with Spurs fans; some were locals, whilst a great deal were ex-pats. The pub even put on a Cypriot-style BBQ, which was great. Spirits were raised.

They score. Silence echoes. We score; pandemonium! By the time we had all stopped jumping all over each other, whispers from the bar spread that the goal had been disallowed.

"And you lot say that Cypriot football is fixed?!"

The Cypriot Spurs followers were angry, not just because of the disallowed goal, but because prior to the match, the pub was showing two play-offs in the Cypriot League. Omonia vs. Anorthosis (remember them?) & APOEL vs. Apollon.

Us Brits were discussing amongst ourselves, the sheer quality of the league and the obvious match rigging that goes on. The locals listening in didn't really care for our petty conversations.

Well, that all changed when our goal went in and then didn't.

Thing is, I didn't feel as bad as I did when I was a spotty nosed teenager up at Elland Road, when Everton put us to the sword. I mean, yesterday was deeply depressing. Carlos (another THBN author) was at the game and was supposed to write something today, yet didn't have the heart for it. Maybe the next three games mean so much that this Semi-Final defeat doesn't mean as much as it should? Who knows?

So then, out of the F.A. Cup and into the Week of Reckoning. Arsenal up next. Do you think the lads can pick themselves up and stop giving away penalties?

Arsenal, here we come!

PS. I got up at 5.15 this morning as I couldn't sleep and so turned on the TV. CNN was on and this American Sports Pundit was talking about "Pompeii's" win over Spurs. Yes, that's right. Not Pompey, but Pompeii's win.

Maybe the thought of Mount Vesuvius erupting over Wiley's decision would cap off my day?

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