IF YOU didn’t know that referee Matthew Breeze who gave out two red cards during last weekend’s A-League Grand Final had the nick name “Hallmark” you know now.
Early in the Grand Final, around the 10th minute Cristiano, a Brazilian, jumps for the ball and elbows Rodrigo Vargas, an Australian-born with Chilean descent, in the head.
These two have been fighting all season. This time there was a connection and blood poured out. Kevin Muscat remonstrated loudly to the referee (remonstrating perhaps is his biggest strength) and Hallmark puts the yellow back in his pocket. Has a little chat with the linesman and he pulls out a red card instead.
It does not matter what type of football fan you are; whether you love the game passionately, or if you're one of those band wagon parochial types, or the common euro snob that ignores your local side and prefers to follow red teams from the North of England, we can all agree that at some point we all collectively hate referees.
Have you heard the tragic story of the Seville player Antonio Peurta who in 2007 collapsed on the field during his teams Spanish league match against Getafe? Tragically he died 3 days later.
A few days later, Seville played another match and one of his team mates scored a goal and lifted his shirt to pay respects to his departed team mate, and the referee, free from any human compassion, gave him a yellow card.
No wonder we hate them.
In the Grand Final Tom Pondeljak scored what was to be the winning goal for Melbourne Victory and he pulled his shirt over his head to celebrate and "Hallmark" gave him a yellow card as well.
Why does the correct decision in football just feel plain wrong sometimes?