The referees assigned to the United States vs. England match have been required to take a crash course. Not on reviewing the best angles to view set pieces, but on learning English swear words. This has to be the greatest class to be a student in, or maybe to teach.
From ESPNSoccernet, “The Brazilian referee and his assistants who will work the England-United States match at the World Cup have been studying English-language obscenities the players might use. Carlos Simon will referee Saturday’s match in Rustenburg, assisted by Roberto Braatz and Altemir Hausmann.
They want to ensure players can’t get away with abuse. ‘We have to learn what kind of words the players say,’ Hausmann told Brazilian broadcaster Globo Sport. ‘All players swear and we know we will hear a few.’ Braatz says they aren’t learning them in ’11 different languages, but at least we have to know the swear words in English.'”
Since referees are super sensitive these days, I suggest FIFA take it a step further. Each referee should be issued a standard book on cockney rhyming and be allowed a minute to look up the potential obscenity that was flung at them. Any additional time can be added to the stoppage time. For those of you unfamiliar with cockney rhyming slang, here is why it will take a minute to look it up (from cockneyrhymingslang.co.uk) :
Rhyming Slang phrases are derived from taking an expression which rhymes with a word and then using that expression instead of the word. For example the word “look” rhymes with “butcher’s hook”. In many cases the rhyming word is omitted – so you won’t find too many Londoners having a “bucher’s hook” at this site, but you might find a few having a “butcher’s”. The rhyming word is not always omitted so Cockney expressions can vary in their construction, and it is simply a matter of convention which version is used.
Good luck following that! With all the creative ways that I have used swear words, there are people much more creative than me. I have had decades of study into the different ways of swearing in football matches, and have heard some of the most classic phrases uttered on the pitch. There is no way these referees can be educated fast enough.
The downside to this training; a referee sending off a player for gross misconduct when the player actually was misunderstood. This is a liability that I don’t think FIFA should attach themselves to.