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Sounders FC

Daily coverage of Seattle Sounders FC, MLS and world soccer.

May 11, 2009 at 9:08 PM

Adrian Hanauer very lucid on Sunday’s officiating

The Sounders part-owner/GM took time to offer his thoughts today.

“I feel like we were taken for a couple of points [Sunday] and probably should have come away with the win and that the referee played a role in that. My bigger concern is that we are working hard here in Seattle, a lot of other teams are working hard around the country to get fans into the building, and we owe a good experience to our fans. And that means referees that maintain control of the game, referees that keep the flow of the game going, referees that don’t become the center of attention, referees that keep the players on the field because quite frankly, the fans are there to see the players, not the referees.”

Hanauer said he was on the phone this morning expressing his disappointment not just in Tim Weyland’s performance, but looking at it in terms of the bigger picture.

“It’s bad for the game when people think that there’s too much embellishment, that the refs are too much involved, when the fans don’t understand why these injustices appear to occur,” Hanauer said. “In every other sport in this country there are more officials, more review of plays, less severe punishments handed out for more severe infractions of the rules.”

Hanauer said with respect for the laws of the game and working with FIFA, “when a guy like Kasey Keller {vs. Kansas City] sits out an extra game for a play like questionably handling the ball intentionally out of the box, and another player gets an extra game for elbowing someone in the head [Fredy Montero vs. Chicago] or a significant punch or an extremely violent tackle, it just seems that the laws aren’t very well callibrated for the fans. So that’s just an area of concern for me.”

“The goal has to be to continue to improve the quality of the refereeing day in and day out, so if this is a catalyst for me or our organization to get involved, then so be it. But our fans should rest assured that we are going to get involved and put pressure on the governing bodies to continue to improve things.”

Hanauer said he wasn’t singling out Weyland, but wants the entertainment of the fans to be the most important objective.

He acknowledged U.S. Soccer’s work in assessing a referee’s performance. “We need to continue to do it and work on it harder,” he said.

One way to improve the officiating is more pay and full dedication to the job, not just as a part-timer. Or former players could make good refs, Hanauer said.

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