We all know the usual one-liners that are trotted out every week in the British media about how difficult a job it is being an official at the top level of football in the Premier League. However, with such a position, you should be able to expect a top level of performance. In most cases, that is what happens, however, the FA cannot anticipate blatant dishonesty, and that is what we witnessed yesterday at White Hart Lane from the assistant referee, John Beck.
This is not the first time that this individual has been at the centre of such a row. Beck was culpable a few years ago when officiating at a match at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Manchester United. The match decided the Premier League Championship that year and Beck failed to give a blatant offside decision that allowed a goal from Didier Drogba to stand, thereby giving Chelsea a 2-1 victory and ultimately the Premier League Title.
This kind of blatant cheating is something that is not seen in other countries to the degree that it is in the UK. In the US, for example, there seems to be a more pragmatic view taken by officials in sporting events, and from the perspective of someone who lives in the UK, I always feel there is a fairness about officiating there. The same cannot be said in this country, where partisan decisions are ruining the game. Just about every 50-50 decision given by Beck went the way of Tottenham, just as he did for Chelsea when he officiated at that match.
These sorts of deceit are warping the genuine chances of teams and clubs striving to attain success fairly, so it is important that the FA take seriously the blatant and obvious to everyone bias in the work of certain officials. It is simply not a solution to fine managers who quite rightly point out the failings of these corrupt officials and the sooner the FA sort it out, the better for everyone in football in this country.