If you don’t know by now, educate yourself: Soccer referees have the most dangerous job in sports. They have to deal with hazards as seemingly mundane (yet brutal) as nutshots from children, or as real as decapitation. Yeah, it’s hard out here for soccer refs, and it doesn’t get any harder than Russia to begin with. Technically, the above video is from a futsal league, which is a popular form of indoor soccer, but it’s just as violent.
A player gets a deserved foul called on him and responds by chucking the ball by the ref’s head? That’s a red card anywhere in the world, even Russia. But then again, this guy was clearly spoiling for a fight. The video title says the player KO’s the ref, but after he gets decked, the official clearly would have beaten a 10-count. Though he did himself no favors meekly kicking out his legs in defense. That sort of scarring experience is exactly what leads to refs packing heat on the field. Never again, they say. Next time I’ll be ready, they say. That’s just the sort of downward spiral one can expect from the harsh struggles of soccer refereeing.
Next time you see a Russian soccer referee, buy him a drink.