Monday, April 5, 2010

Card happy

Thong Chankethya is a card-wielding member of the referee's union. Bryan Edem (4) of Kirivong is the recipient on this occasion.
This is referee Thong Chankethya doing what he loves to do best. Brandishing a yellow card is something which this match official is developing a real taste for. In the last three matches he has officiated in the middle, he has seen fit to show a yellow card on six occasions in each game. Now that is a statistic that needs looking at more closely in my view. In each of the games I would personally have brought the card out no more than twice and just lectured the players on the other occasions. But not Thong Chankethya. It's a yellow card or a red one if the player has already been booked by this pernickety referee. With the clubs getting fined for each infringement this season, it seems Thong Chankethya is on a one-man mission to improve the coffers of the football federation. I couldn't get a straight answer to whether the fines are being funnelled into the referee's end of season party fund! But it's not just the cautions that worry me. Thong Chankethya was the referee in Sunday's 3-2 Khemara win over Preah Khan. This evenly-matched game was decided from the penalty spot in the last minute for a handball, which the linesman and referee said they saw committed by PKR defender Suon Thuon. Now I must admit I am sat in the stand and far from the action but I would stake my reputation (which doesn't amount to much) that it was the arm of goalkeeper Ouk Mic (in his bright yellow jersey) that came into contact with the ball, not Thuon, who of course, was booked. I really need to see if the television replays support me or the referee. If the referee is wrong, I think the federation need to take some action as the decision was so crucial. If I'm wrong, I'll shut up, for five minutes. It was only a few weeks ago that the same referee flashed fourteen, yes 14, yellow cards in a Hun Sen Cup semi-final. He should get some advertising booked for the back of his yellow and red cards, he'd make a fortune. Photo courtesy of nicksellsphotography

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