## Wednesday, October 05, 2016 ... /////

### Male soccer, female referees, stoves, and clever punishments

On Sunday, AC Sparta Prague – the best Czech soccer team for several decades before it was largely surpassed by my hometown's reborn FC Viktoria Pilsen six years ago – played in Brno against Zbrojovka [a gun company], a weaker foe. (The name "Sparta" doesn't mean that the players must be born in Greece.)

In the 93rd minute, three minutes after the normal time, Brno scored from a corner. Brno's player Hyčka stood next to Sparta's goalie, a meter or two closer to the goal than Sparta's defenders. It was a clear offside but the referee's assistant Ms Lucie Rafajová – who is a criminal investigator (someone like the ladies from NCIS) remained silent. Hyčka's goal was counted, Zbrojovka tied 3-to-3, and Sparta lost 2 points.

It was surely great news for many fans here in Pilsen because the leader Viktoria is already 6 points ahead of Sparta – and everyone assumes that the two other teams that are above Sparta right now will eventually drop.

The blunder was self-evident – the goalie's view was blocked which could have been enough to invalidate the goal even if there were no offside. Well, the offside was so bad that even the main referee should have seen it himself. You may see the video in the middle of this page.

I can imagine the anger of the soccer fans – especially the fans of Sparta – who understand the concept of offside and who really care about the results (I don't care too much, as you can imagine). Even though Ms Lucie Ratajová is one of the world's best female soccer referees – well, Ms Jana Adámková is probably even better, in the world's top ten – it just doesn't seem enough for a professional man's league.

For her blunder, Ms Lucie Ratajová was punished by a suspension for four matches – she was sent to the kitchen for this long which is not so bad. (Twitter is full of such jokes. For example, a new definition of offside is when Ms Ratajová is away from the stove.) Five years ago, referee Mr Moudrý stole a goal from Viktoria Pilsen and he was fired for good. Some people point out that she hasn't really changed the winner because she made two big blunders (overlooked two offsides) during the match, one on each side. From the viewpoint of justice, these two blunders may cancel. But from the viewpoint of her performance, they add up.

Many people reacted. Needless to say, the largest portion of the soccer fans are old-fashioned macho men. So Ms Jana Adámková often hears slurs such as "the c*nt", commands such as "drag back to the stove, you cow" or, much more wittily, "only the referee is somewhat strange", a parody of the famous 1996-2016 TV commercial for the Kozel [billy goat] beer, "the beer is great, only the waiter is somewhat strange [a billy goat]".

More explosively, the players reacted, too. Sparta's player Mr Lukáš Vácha didn't play but he watched the match on TV and posted a tweet

[back] to the stove...
along with Ms Ratajová's photograph on his Twitter account. In an interview, his teammate Mr Tomáš Koubek who did play made a more refined statement (among other sensible statements):
My opinion is the following: Women should stay next to the stove rather than to decide about men's soccer.
This tweet and the proposition were politically incorrect but I tend to think that the idea to "punish" the players wasn't invented in Prague. Someone at UEFA or FIFA – which harbor tons of these "hypersensitive" people – could have demanded some punishment.

At any rate, Sparta's director general Mr Adam Kotalík has invented a cute punishment for the two "offenders". They have to work as ambassadors in the female Champions League. Moreover, they will have to undergo several trainings with one of Sparta's female teams.
"In this way, the boys will be able to see with their naked eyes that women may be skillful not only in the kitchen..."
[but also in the bedroom,] Mr Kotalík somewhat ambiguously stated. ;-) So far, Mr Kotalík hasn't been punished for these words by anyone else. You know, in this way, Czechia would rapidly run of the men who can punish others. For example, you can't really rely on President Zeman who would trump all of the men in AC Sparta Prague combined when it comes to jokes about women. At least, he doesn't attend wild CFNM parties as the First Daughter.

I think that training sessions with some girls or women may be pleasant so it's questionable whether this compensation should be called a "punishment" or a "reward", of course.

Players may have gotten an amusing punishment but it's generally felt that it's probably not a coincidence that this bad blunder was made by a female referee's assistant. So even if the people won't use the same words, I think that most of the men in the soccer establishment will ultimately agree that women shouldn't be deciding about men's soccer.

This relative non-event was reported in dozens of world's media. Many of the articles just bring you similar facts that you could have read above. Some comments are funny.

However, there's a remarkably amusing reaction by Ms Lindsey Adler in deadspin.com. She chose the following creative title:
Women's Soccer Team Forced To Train With Two Idiot Sexists
I was laughing out loud because it's a creative new way to frame the events: the women who have to train with the two sexist pigs are the true victims! ;-) This is the kind of a ludicrous rotation of the perspective that I sometimes like to do to achieve a comical effect. The only problem is that Ms Adler was probably serious.

So just to be sure, if the title was meant seriously, it's ludicrous because the male players of AC Sparta Prague may be called "sexist pigs" and treated in a similar way for a while. But every person who has some respect for soccer and some knowledge of soccer – and women and girls who play in some Sparta teams surely belong to this category – realize that these players of the "true" Sparta Prague team are VIPs and almost every soccer girl is surely dreaming of training with them, whether they talk about stoves, kitchens, or bedrooms.

Here, Mr Lukáš Vácha is pictured with five girls who are helping to punish him. Unfortunately, Larry Summers wasn't this lucky because he was being punished by employees who should have returned to the kitchen themselves.