Good refs and good sports. You get it all in Jewish football
I've received several glowing reports about referees and teams in the MSFL and Maccabi Masters League over the past few days.
Richard Jaye took the morning off reporting to officiate at the Peter Morrison Trophy tie between Temple Fortune A and Camden Park. Fortune assistant-manager Jack Morris said: "Richard was superb. He handled the game incredibly well. I can't recall any decision he got wrong. I think it's the first time I've ever played or managed a game where I never once questioned a decision!"
Brady Maccabi A manager Josh Rosenfeld spoke highly of Adam Lewis following his team's defeat against London Maccabi Lions A. "He was superb. Both red card decisions spot on and he had complete control of the game. A genuine and professional referee."
There was even a referee who gave perfect marks to both teams. Following the Division Two match between Glenthorne United C and EDRS Stonegrove, referee Ken Goldman said: "I had no hesitation in awarding both teams a perfect 10 for sportsmanship. It was really an enjoyable game to referee. It was an example for all teams to follow with not a serious foul in the match."
MMFL League chairman Stuart said: "Despite reports of its demise, the FA RESPECT programme still exists."
Chigwell Athletic striker Glenn Michaels praised the efforts of Brixton Old Boys A manager John Nitka who came to his aid after a nasty mid-air collision left him struggling to breath. "It seemed like he was on the pitch in a matter of seconds," said Michaels. "He really helped me when everyone else seemed to argue and flap. It raises the question of each team having a qualified first aider."
Michaels was later diagnosed with concussion, but thankfully no internal bleeding. He has been signed off work for a week.
● I was encouraged to hear about the findings of the recent discussion on antisemitic abuse in football. The CST's Dave Rich believes that the systems in place are "very good in terms of implementation to all parts of the game".
At the meeting, John Mann MP, who chairs the Antisemitism and Islamophobia Taskforce, says that he has witnessed a "change of attitude" across the football community. So I asked Rich for his take on the talks and what measures teams should adopt at grassroots level.
He said: "Everyone at the FA is generally committed to the scheme and have a good understanding of the issues and concerns. The devil is in the implementation.
"There are procedures in place if players and teams are worried about a forthcoming fixture. Clubs should speak to us and the County FA and tell their opponents that we'll be looking out for it.
"Prevention is always better than having to chase it up afterwards."
● Powerlifter Marc Sidney is punching above his weight again, this time in a new sport. Sidney, 48, won his the heavyweight division at the British Sumo Wrestling Novice Championships in Derby. Weighing in at 18st, Sidney won nine out of 12 bouts, including one against an opponent of 31st. Reflecting on an impressive first outing, which he described as "a fantastic experience," Sidney has been selected for the Great Britain team at next year's Italian Open."