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Edie Mullen
November 2016.
134

Why do footballers protest referees' decisions when they know it won't change their minds?

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I would ask anyone who has ever played football at any level, why do you ask a referee to give a decision back when you know he isn’t going to? This is passion. 

We talk about footballers being role models, being able to keep their emotions in check. But this is people putting everything on the line. It is just very difficult to keep your emotions in check. I was not every good at it – I am not proud to say I was sent off and booked on numerous occasions and a lot of that would have been for things I said to a referee. 

I knew full well he wasn’t able to change his decision but that was just the way I was. My grandma used to get very upset with me and call me up after the game and wasn’t very happy with my behaviour sometimes. I would promise I wouldn’t do it again - until the next game. Why do they do it? It's passion, wanting to win and it is just directed in the wrong way.

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I don't know if this is widespread in football but largely ignored by players, but at AFC Wimbledon I understand that arguing with the referee can lead to a player being disciplined by the club, I think it's specifically addressed in the code of conduct that all playing staff are required to abide by.

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