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Roger East's refereeing performance during AVL vs LEI was nothing short of catastrophic

Trigger Warning: Terrible refereeing

Yeah, smile you bastard.
Yeah, smile you bastard.
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Two games in a week is too much for any Villa fan to process, let alone me. From the Stands this week will take the form of an essay in review of the referee's performance. Also, apologies about the wait - I got so furious during this article I needed to take a few days off to ensure I stayed unbiased as possible. Fuck you Roger East.

The very first line of the BBC's guide on refereeing states this:

'They say that the men and women in black are having a good game if you don't notice them.'

Let me tell you this, both Aston Villa and Leicester City fans will probably remember Saturday's match for the performance of a referee than any individual player. Roger East will forevermore be a name linked to anger for the faithful at Villa Park and not just for one bad decision, Roger East stole victory not only from Aston Villa through some infuriatingly poor decisions, but he actually stopped Leicester City from playing football on numerous occasions.

Case in point - from the video clip (thanks to u/fragilelittlebunny on Reddit) below we see the incident that leads to a penalty being awarded. Mahrez shoots low towards the goal and is blocked by a falling Aly Cissokho.

'A foul is called when a player handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his own penalty area' - from the Football Association rulebook.

The above 'foul' by Aly Cissokho contradicts the damn rule book. It's not hard. Deliberate handball in the box to stop a goalscoring opportunity is a red card and a penalty - clear as day. If you watch the clip, you see Cissokho actually turn away from the shot; hell, you can even see the exact moment that his brain realises an object is hurtling towards him and he flinches. Aly's focus is not on the ball during this event, in fact the only time the ball can be seen by him during the foul is after the offence has been committed, the ball returns to Aly's vision once it bounces off of his hand - there is no way this can be deliberate at all, no possible outcome results in this play being a deliberate foul unless Aly knowingly smacks the ball to effect the run of play in a goalscoring opportunity.

As you can see from the example I will provide below, you will surely be able to tell the difference between a deliberate handball and an accidental handball. In fact, Roger East will contradict this decision later in the match.

Let us not forget that Leicester's Okazaki flopped like a fish out of water seconds before 'handball'.

The difference between deliberate and accidental handball is clear. Case closed.

Let us not forget that Leicester's Okazaki flopped like a fish out of water seconds before 'handball'.

If you think that's the worst of it, you've got another thing coming. Below is another clip of a football match, not a professional wrestling match. What you see below is not a 'use of strength' to defend the ball, but a clothesline, made popular by JBL over on Smackdown. What we see here is a professional foul, in the box, in a goalscoring opportunity. Penalty as defined by the rulebook. The very definition of stonewall.

When you watch it, there's no need to explain - I'm exasperated.

There aren't much words that can be used to defend this. Kozak doesn't fall lightly and there's no way this can be classed as a fair challenge. It's a reckless forearm. Red card? possibly. Penalty? one-hundred percent yes. It's not even a emotional decision for me, you could colour those teams black and white and play this clip at Referee School and it's still a penalty. This exact challenge happened twice, by a man who remained on the pitch for a full ninety minutes.

Remember how I said Roger East would contradict his decision to award a handball against Villa later in the game? When Villa scored through Rudy Gestede, another incident for handball occurred.

That is not a handball offence by the law of the game. As I said earlier, a handball must be deliberate in order for a foul to be called. Maybe Roger East is making up for the penalty call earlier, but surely this is a more obvious incident and a bit more clear cut than the handball awarded earlier? No consistency and that is perhaps key. Roger East did himself no favours by chucking rules out of the window, but he didn't help his reputation by kicking his consistency in the face.

Finally, there's not many videos of this - as allowing a team to 'play on' after a foul doesn't really warrant to be on the highlight reel - but Mr East killed Leicester City's counter attack on a number of occasions by demanding they pull the ball back and refusing them to take quick free kicks. This was a huge detriment to the game. Roger East didn't stamp his authority onto the game, he was the game.

I hope this isn't taken as a personal attack on East, but he made himself no friends with a terrible performance. At one point, 30,000 fans stood up and sung 'you're not fit to referee! You're not fit to ref-er-ree'. Anyone out in that crowd who aspired to be a ref has just had that flame snuffed out. Referee's owe it to themselves to improve their performance, not just to make the game more consistently fair, but because it may encourage the next generation to take up the whistle. The FA and FIFA are doing a bad job of supporting these guys, but the rulebook is clear as day, technology can't change a personality.

Agree or disagree? Let us know below!