Following Andre Mariner’s embarrassing mix up on Saturday, which saw him send off the wrong mixed-race player, the FA has announced a new scheme to ensure an incident of this nature never occurs again.
Mariner told reporters after the game he actually thought he’d dismissed Theo Walcott, who wasn’t even playing.
In response to this error, beginning this week, every Premier League referee is to attend a tailor-made course designed to help them tell the difference between different people from ethnic minorities.
Paul Timpson, the FA’s head of Education, told the Lamppost that the course would feature a range of exercises, coursework and games designed to aid them in telling people apart, even if their skin isn’t white, and there’s more than one of them on the pitch at once. “We’ll start off easy and gradually ramp up the difficulty until every one of them is an expert distinguisher. For example, the first exercise involves correctly identifying from two photos which one is Jackie Chan, and which is Beyoncé. After that, we’ll get trickier; say photos of Will Smith and The Notorious B.I.G., before finishing with them being able to tell Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman apart.”
The Referee’s Association called for patience for its members, telling the press in a statement of the difficult nature of their task. “Referees only have the use of facial features, general appearance and the names written on the back of their shirt to go on, which can make correctly identifying the world-famous multimillionaires they work with every week extremely hard.”
We asked Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for a comment, or maybe it was Keiran Gibbs, how are we meant to know? Either way, they declined.