UEFA have come under fire for discriminating against ‘linespeople’ and their right to just focus on throw-ins and corners. Since 1996, Graham Pollock (47) has had to live the lie of ‘assisting’ the referee, instead of doing what he loves best – running up and down the touchline, while being verbally abused.
Mr. Pollock explained: ‘I’ve always been happy to be a linesman/woman – the fewer syllables the better. I never saw ‘Lino’ as a term of abuse. And ‘Who is the wanker in the black?’ is non-gender specific’.
Graham claims to have been wrongfully dismissed, but that may simply be down to confusion over the use of a Red Card. However, the fact remains, he is now judged to be out of place and a target for derision – much like the offside rule.
An FA official denied discrimination: ‘There is still racism and bigotry within football, but none of that is directed at the linesman – that’s what we have VAR for’.