The transfer window has now closed and although there was the last minute £50 million transfer of Fernando Torres from Liverpool to Chelsea and a £35 million transfer of Andy Carroll from Newcastle to Liverpool, the main item in the British media was the sacking of Sky Sports television pundit Andy Gray for sexist comments he made, albeit off camera, about the competence of assistant referee Sian Massey.

His co-presenter Richard Keys later resigned.

This situation brought into the open the old prejudices about women in football.

What right has Andy Gray to suggest that an assistant referee would not understand the offside Law just because she was a woman?

Sian Massey has gained her place as an assistant referee in the Premier League through top class performances in the lower leagues.

Many would suggest that as a presenter, Gray, reputedly paid £1.7 million per year, is the one who should know, not only the offside Law, but all 17 Laws, better than he does.

It also raises a bigger issue. Players should know more about the Laws than they do.

Players, paid in some cases hundreds of thousands of pounds per week, are ignorant of the Laws

Law 11 is an obvious case in point but many players do not know the difference between a direct and an indirect free kick or what is really meant by denying a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.

A professional person such as a lawyer or a banker must know the regulations he or she must follow.

Why should football players be different?

Oh, and by the way, why should referees not learn more about the tactics of the game?

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