Monday, November 13, 2006

Rayner Shine

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago Pauleta's alleged slurring of female referee's assistant Nellie Lagrange's reputation; now one of Mme Lagrange's English counterparts, Amy Rayner, has suffered a similarly craven attack from Luton manager Mike Newell, who claims, with bracing old-school gusto that "women shouldn't be here" and that their presence officiating is only due to political correctness. Well might the same thing have been said about Jackie Robinson, Clyde Best, Viv Anderson and other black sportsmen in the past.

Newell, to his mitigated credit, initially admitted to being sexist, and has since apologised. He is still likely however to lose his job, which seems a bit harsh for something that only makes him look an idiot. There is course no reason to say that women cannot make officials as good as if not better than men but given the inevitability of the hostility they face, one wonders do they suffer from some beastly form of masochism. That said, best of luck to Amy Rayner and all her female colleagues.