“He’s taken a Dive”: cultural comparisons of elite referee responses to reduced player behaviour in Association Football

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to consider the cultural similarities and differences between elite referees concerning their preparation and performance in dealing with reduced player behaviour.

Design: Semi-structured interviews were employed to collect the data. The 37 participants from England, Spain and Italy were selected through the use of purposive sampling, and all were working in the field of refereeing as current elite level referees, ex-elite level referees, referee assessors, referee coaches, or managers and administrators from bodies that manage and train referees. Inductive content analysis was employed to generate themes from the raw data.

Findings: Referees have identified particular issues related specifically to player behaviour and also identified specific traits pertaining to players from certain countries. Furthermore, results demonstrate that referees have begun to alter their preparation and performance due to the pressure they perceive exists within Association Football and, more specifically, from the players themselves.

Originality: This study is the first to compare cross-cultural elite referee responses regarding their preparation and performance related to player behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-258
JournalSport, Business and Management: An International Journal
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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