In a dramatic new development, next season rugby referees will be given a new white card to brandish. The International Federation of Rugby Referees and Flag Wavers have come up with the new card to help with difficult situations as and when they occur during the 80 minutes.
“Having pored over thousands of hours of footage,” said Gerald Parp, the chairman of the Federation, “It is clear to us that this new white card should be introduced. Many referees find themselves in situations on a rugby field where they have absolutely no idea what is going on. This white card will allow them to take five minutes out of the game and clear their head.”
“Time and again, we see referees under constant pressure to try and work out who should be awarded the penalty. Sometimes they give it to the side going forward; sometimes the home side; and on occasion they give it to the team with the best looking front row. The bottom line is, no one knows what the fuck is going on at a breakdown or scrum, and we feel it best that this white card is introduced to give the man in the middle a bit of breathing space.”
Speaking outside his three-bedroomed home in Barnes, as he unloaded the shopping from his car, Mr. Parp was keen to praise his merry band of whistleblowers.
“They come under incredible pressure and scrutiny. The job they do is wonderful. Some of the vitriol handed out by certain sections of the crowd and Steve Diamond is ridiculous. Hopefully, by being able to use these white cards, everyone will just get a chance to calm down and take stock. Once the heat has gone out of the situation, then they’ll be able to return to the field and probably restart with a 22 drop out. But that hasn’t really been decided yet.”
It remains unclear what will happen in the five minutes that the referee is off the field of play. Terry Tootle, a referee in England’s top flight for nearly 45 years and now a special advisor to the Federation, admits that some finishing touches are still being put on the situation.
“We’re not sure; we may play some Phil Collins over the loud speaker,” said Tootle. “Probably something off his But Seriously album, just to try and give people some perspective. We could also use the big screen to show the fans a collection of really good referee decisions from years gone by. The main thing is that the white card gives everyone a chance to cool off.”
Referees will be able to use this card a maximum of twice a game and no more than thirteen times a season. TMOs can also show the referee a white card should the shit really start to hit the fan. Assistant referees will also be given a white flag that they can wave.