Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Monday March 15 2010
The Wigan Athletic Vs Aston Villa game at the DW Stadium on Tuesday will be refereed by Farnborough official Steve Bennett.
The former PE teacher is known to be officious and dogmatic and he does come across as being a bit aloof, Wigan wont be his cup of tea really then.
In a recent interview with refworld.com Bennett says it is the duty of the referee to ensure that the laws of the game are carried out with integrity, I`d settle for consistency.
Below is an excerpt from that interview:
How did you get introduced into refereeing?
At the time I played a high level of representative cricket for Kent and my priorities were in that area. Being a teacher of Physical Education it was important to know the Laws of the Game so I took the examination to obtain another qualification.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
My career started in 1984 and there have been many high points - refereeing the International match between Brazil v Argentina in 2006 and being on the 'Elite Group' of Referees in UEFA have been very special. However, these are surpassed by my appointment to Referee the 2007 FA Cup Final at the 'new' Wembley Stadium, Chelsea v Manchester United.
What is the best game you have officiated and why?
A difficult one to answer but I suppose it must be the match in Thimpu which is situated in the Himalayers. The match was between Bhutan v Montserrat, the first ever International match played there. It was truly a unique occasion played some 20,000 feet above sea level. My journey took me from Heathrow to Bangkok, to Calcutta and then finally arriving in the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan. From the airport in Paro I made what can only be described as the most incredible journey through the mountains and rough terrain to the capital Thimpu. The entire population of 40,000 turned up to witness a 4-0 home victory. Amazing scenes at the end when all the VIPs, players and officials moved onto on the pitch to complete the customary Buddhist dance which went on for at least 20 minutes!
What are your aims as a Select Group Referee?
My aim on every match I officiate at is to ensure that fair play exists and that the Laws of the Game are carried out in a fair and equal way. Whilst there are enormous rewards nowadays, we the Referees are the guardians of standards and we must ensure that the integrity of the game we all love so much is maintained.
Who has been the biggest influence in your career and why?
Many people help you during your career. I have been fortunate to have had some excellent coaches in John Martin, George Courtney, Tom Bune and Ron Groves and without their invaluable input I probably wouldn't have achieved as much as I have. But I believe the support of my family and friends has made the most influential contribution to my success.
In your opinion who is/was the best referee?
For me Michel Voutrot (France). He was a man who commanded respect, an imposing figure on the field who went to World Cup Finals, and refereed many European matches in the 80/90's. He thinks about the game very deeply and is currently a UEFA Referees Observer.
The 49 year old referee has been in charge of 27 games so far this season issuing 103 yellow cards and 5 reds; this will be the first time he has taken charge of a Latics game since January 2009 (Man U away) and his first visit to Wigan since September 2008 (Man City).
You can listen to the Latics Speyk podcasts now by clicking on the player here:
Date:Monday March 15 2010
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