In the last few days we have learned of the dangers of goalkeeping. And I don’t mean the foolishness of England’s Paul Robinson, who tried to whack a back-pass away without first bringing it under control, only to see it roll into the net in the 2-0 defeat by Croatia. No, the dangers I refer to are the real possibility of injury because goalkeeping is an inherently dangerous occupation, sometimes made worse by the inattention of the referee.
So, no political comments here, but a couple of things that any referee can do to protect the goalkeeper at all levels of the game. (And if you look at my picture at the head of this blog, you will see an obviously broken nose, which was caused by contact with Alan Durban’s knee when we were both youth footballers playing for our respective cities in Wales. Believe me, I know whereof I write! Subsequently, Durban became a first-division professional and an international for Wales; I became a referee.)