The referee who sent himself off
Legally it's impossible, but it still happened... a referee sent himself off!
In football, those in charge of dispensing justice are the referees, the least loved characters in this sport. In the history of this sport, there have been excellent referees, corrupt referees, or simply referees who made many mistakes. How to forget the controversial match between Spain and South Korea in the 2002 World Cup, the phantom goal in the 1966 England final, Maradona's hand of God, and refereeing errors that changed the history of football.
However, there was a referee who, knowing that he was refereeing very badly, decided to send himself off! Legally, the referee can send off players, coaches, assistants and assistant referees, but he cannot send off himself. But, this happened.
It happened in March 1998, in the London suburb of Charlton. Melvin Sylvester, a 42-year-old school janitor, was directing a Sunday match between the Southampton Arms and the Hurstbourne Tarrant British in London. The match was not easy, with many fouls and of course, many complaints (and insults) from the players. But also, the referee was very nervous and tense, so he made many mistakes. In the second half, the game was very tense and one of the players pushed Melvin Sylvester, who simply lost patience and started hitting him several times. "It provoked me a lot. I punched him several times after he pushed me from behind. I couldn't take it anymore," Sylvester explained after the match.
Realizing what he had done, the extremely affected referee showed the red card and... He sent himself off! He blew his whistle and headed for the locker room. One of the fans took the whistle and took over the rest of the match. Sylvester was suspended for six weeks and had to pay a fine, but it was a useless sanction: the referee swore that he would never referee again, an oath he still keeps to this day.
As a result of this event, many debates were generated. Why not implement a new rule in which a kind of "Instructing Judge" can evaluate and sanction the actions of the referees during the matches? Perhaps with the VAR this is not necessary, but without a doubt, it could have helped in many games in the past.