Twee keer geel is rood (Two yellows make a red) – John Blankenstein


Twice I had the pleasure of meeting in person John Blankenstein, who passed away nine years ago, almost to the day. He was an insightful, empathic man, who chose his words carefully but managed to work some humour in there anyway. He carried this characteristic over into this small book, using this medium to convey his ideas about refereeing, the laws of the game and the referee as a person. This book, published in 2000, goes through the most important laws one by one, explaining why they may give rise to controversy and misunderstandings and giving referee tips as to what they can do to deal with such situations in a clear and decisive manner. Blankenstein intersperses many personal anecdotes throughout to demonstrate how he arrived at his insights. These anecdotes liven up the book no end, and for my part there could have been many more of them. As it is, the book includes 35 pages for a – shortened – version of the laws of the game as they applied in 2000. I would have preferred more of Blankenstein’s views on reffing and tips for handling short-fused players. Then again, referees were not the target group of this book. It was clearly aimed at football-watching audiences, who – as Blankenstein regularly insisted – should be educated about referees’ decision-making processes.

Value for active referees

Not too bad.

Although the book is dated as far as the LOTG are concerned, the referee-player interaction is unlikely to have changed in 15 years (if it ever will). And that’s the very area on which Blankenstein has quite a few tales to tell.

Final say

Twee keer geel is rood is good at what it set out to do: educate the average football watcher about the laws of the game and their application by referees. If you ask me, John Blankenstein could have stepped it up a level and written a more extensive version to provide starting – and advanced – referees with tips. That’s not to say that – young – referees will not find anything useful in this booklet. On the contrary, Blankenstein has quite a few apt things to say. Unfortunately, this helpful book is rather difficult to find in the second-hand market place.

John Blankenstein

John Blankenstein

More information on John Blankenstein can be found at:

and the foundation named in his honour promoting the acceptance of and equal rights for homosexual people in sports: John Blankenstein Foundation

Title Twee keer geel is rood: over de regels van het voetbalspel

(Two yellows make a red: about the laws of football)

Author John Blankenstein (in collaboration with Yoeri van den Busken)
Pages 159
Publisher BZZTôH
Year of publication 2000
3.5 / 5     

Leave a Reply