Sports Book of the Week: You Are The Ref by Paul Trevillion and Keith Hackett

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The Independent Culture

Who will win the World Cup is anybody's guess, but there's one sure bet: there will be the traditional roster of controversial refereeing decisions.

You would have thought a game with a mere 17 laws as compared with, say, cricket's 42 would be relatively simple to adjudicate. Consider this: England face another penalty shoot-out; the first taker places the ball on the spot, but as he runs in he points in an exaggerated way to David James's left. Should the referee intervene?

This is a hugely enjoyable guide in strip form by the legendary illustrator of 'Roy of the Rovers' and one of England's most respected referees, and it should be required reading for fans and players alike – as James says in his foreword: "We spent more time at Watford being taught how to use a knife and fork than how offside works." (The short answer to the question posed above is yes, by the way; for the full explanation, you'll have to buy the book.)

Published in hardback by Observer Books, £12.99