Touching is good. It’s a display of endearment, a bonding behavior, an affectionate act.
Touching is bad. It’s a display of aggression, a divisive behavior, a violent act.
Contrary to popular belief, referees are people too. They like good touch. They don’t like bad touch. On Sunday, Cristiano Ronaldo did a bad touch. The referee didn’t like it. Ronaldo is suspended five matches.
When is it OK to touch the referee? We here at The18 have put together a guide so you know just how you should and should not touch the referee.
Not only is this touching allowed, its actively encouraged. Give the referee a friendly greeting at the start of the match and a sportsmanlike “gg” after the match. Fist bumps are welcome too, and more sanitary.
Whoa there buddy. Only the Donald gets to yank people around with violent handshakes.
Even in the heat of battle, a hug can really lift one’s spirits, especially when from an unexpected source. A gentle kiss on the forehead? Even better! Be careful though, butt taps are OK only in certain scenarios. Just make sure you’re the same gender as the recipient.
Remember what we said about butt taps? Same goes double for chest taps. Watch those hands, gentlemen.
Refs are fans too! When you receive a booking, offer an autograph and a friendly pat on the back. If you’re lucky, the official will be eager to pull out another card for you to sign later.
Do not show your affection for an official with a head butt. It might be cute when a baby goat does it to a cat, but you won’t win any fans by ramming your head into a referee.
Turns out, when you’re Lionel Messi, you can get away with a little bad touch. Unfortunately, you’re not Lionel Messi.
You might be Raheem Sterling. Don’t touch the ref, Raheem.
When you've got time to flirt with the referee and score the free-kick.
Ribery - what a legend. pic.twitter.com/F1eJYMNX05
— BetVictor (@BetVictor) August 13, 2017
Look, it can be hard to meet people, and a little flirting on the pitch never hurt anyone. Take Franck Ribery, for instance. Here he cheekily unties the referee’s shoelaces during a DFB Pokal match. She may be a bit older than Ribery’s usual flames, but I’m sure the Frenchman got her digits afterword when he scored on the ensuing free kick.
Um, no. Just, no. It probably goes without saying, but attacking a referee is not good touching. Violence is never the answer people! And some refs, you just don’t want to piss off. They might touch back.