Live from Cairoston

Has it ever happened that a referee withdrew a decision due to a player’s objection? Not that I know of. Never have I seen a soccer referee call a foul, penalty kick, disqualify a goal, or send out a player, only to withdraw the decision following objection and uproar. Players don’t get to choose which decisions they accept and which they don’t.
If so, then what goes on in the minds of players when they run up to a referee pleading, screaming, and challenging a decision? Do they actually think that the referee will change their mind? Shouldn’t it be common sense that once a referee makes a decision they will never change it? Why don’t players understand this concept and stop fussing about decisions they don’t agree with?
I think it is irrational for a player to argue with a referee. Rationally speaking, one should infer that referees don’t change their minds during matches. Why then do players object? Imagine a game where players, no matter how much they disagree with a decision, swallow it and move on. In such a game, the referee reigns supreme and their decisions are Ultimatums. I thought about it and feel that that would kill a game, as it would kill life in general. Here is why.
Consider that the arguing of players with referees is the same as objecting to an unjust verdict (according to the objecting player). In real life, objections directed to a court’s decision makes sense because there is an appeal system; unless the court in question is a supreme one that does not allow appeals. However in a game, there is no appeal system and the referee’s decision is an ultimate one. Yes, one could appeal *after* the game to the FIFA, but that is a completely different process and does not justify a players objection to a referee after a whistle. Objecting to a perceived unjust decision during a game is nonsense, because it never works. At best it’s a ridiculous waste of time and effort and at worst it may earn you a card, and at the end of the day, all what goes down in the books is the final score.
Now consider objection a form of resistance; resistance to injustice. Yet a player’s “resistance” to a referee’s decision is in vain, for the player has no leverage, no choice, and the decision is final. If only players would understand this! If only they would become rational beings that understand the Laws of the game! There are written rules, and there are inferred Laws, and of the later is that resisting a referee’s decision is absurd, and all that will go down in the books is the final score.
However, resisting an ultimatum reflects hope; hope in the absurd. Such absurd hope is the essence of our lives. Such hope is what reminds us of our individual existence and that what we do matters and has meaning. If players were to completely refrain from resisting a referee’s decision, bit by bit, the referee would become the source of the game. A foul is a foul not because “I” the player committed it, but because the referee decided so, for only the referee decides what a foul is or is not. If I am offside, it is not because “I” was sneaking behind my opponents lines, but because the referee decided that I was in the wrong space and time, for only the referee decides where and when I could be. Why, if I score a goal, I have no reason to rejoice, for it was not of my effort, but of the referee’s decision that a goal shall be granted to my team. Why I should rush and thank the referee rather than run to the corner pole and perform my dance!
If players stopped objecting to the decisions of referees they will become performers, and the referee the only player. Performers are sub-players that kick the ball around for any reason other than the joy of competition and victory. Performers entertain the spectators and bring in the dollars for their superiors. Therefore, the real joy of football and the realness of its players can only be preserved if we maintain the absurd behavior of objecting to perceived injustice on the field. For only such absurdity retains referees at our level; reminds them that they are human as well and that we can look them in the eye, get their adrenaline rushing and heart beating if we don’t like their decisions. Only such absurdity makes the referee “one of us” as opposed to the above-and-beyond Absolute Judge. Only such absurdity gives meaning to our actions on the field, justifies our emotions and warrants a player’s euphoria. That is why the most joyous of players, and the realest of players are those who kick around cloth balls, oranges and rocks on beaches and in alleys around the world. The realest of all games are those with no referees, because not one person decides, but we all decide, and therefore we all still have a choice.

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