Former Germany and current Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm has called for football players to stop manipulating the referee’s decisions, in order to help the officials do their job properly.
Lahm has long been regarded as arguably one of the best fullbacks in the world, and remains an integral part of the all-conquering Bayern Munich side even at the age of 32.
However, the Bayern Munich defender, who is ambidextrous with his feet, has said that the players and fans should support whatever decisions the referee takes. In fact, the German World Cup winner also went on to opine that the players must act responsibly on the pitch, and avoid simulating fouls.
“In most cases, the real issue is not the referee’s mistake but the player’s breach of the rules. The referee only has full control if the players observe the rules,” wrote Lahm in his latest column on Goal.com.
“Mistakes that influence the result can happen, though. The player who really knows the rules gives no reason for the referee to miss a foul because he is not committing one. Sporting behaviour means fair behaviour. This is the player’s task, not the referee’s.”
Lahm also goes on to applaud the proposed change in rules for the upcoming Euro 2016, that states that the referee need not send off (or book) a player for a foul inside the box.
“There are times that you cannot help but stop your opponent in the box, with your momentum forcing you to make a challenge. Fouls can’t be avoided in that situation but your intention was fair,” wrote Lahm. “So it’s good for the game to punish the foul with a penalty and not with a red card as well.”
The current rule in the football lawbook says that obstruction of a clear goalscoring opportunity with the use of illegal methods will be punished with a red card.
Lahm was on the pitch when the technology debate kicked off
The infamous World Cup game at Bloemfontein, where a long range shot by English midfielder Frank Lampard was ruled to be not a goal, had kicked off the whole debate regarding the use of technology to help the referees in football. While the goal was ruled out, replays showed the ball clearly landing inside the line which caused a great outrage.
“Although the ball was clearly behind the line, the goal was disallowed. Instead of England equalising to make the score 2-2, we, Germany, kept our 2-1 advantage and won the game in the end,” Lahm wrote.
The ex-Germany captain opined that rules must always change with times, and the modern use of the goalline technology is a great example of that.
“It was an incorrect decision that could have been avoided had there been the technological solutions we have nowadays,” he wrote. “In every part of our society, rules have to be questioned and adapted. We should not discuss refereeing performances but support decisions to help their work.”