On the Pitch, Riem Hussein is “the boss”. Your job as a referee is to ensure that players adhere to the rules of the game while making decisions that are not always popular and to take disciplinary action when someone breaks the rules. But like everyone else at the moment, Riem is athletically out of action.
Riem Hussein Interview
“I really miss football,” she said in an interview, “My professional life hasn’t really changed that much. I’ve always had a full-time job outside of the referee, but now I miss the sports competition. I’m obviously still training very balanced – maybe even more, even if I were to play competitive games because I plan my training like this can be how I want it. Games, travel and other considerations do not have to be taken into account, so my life has calmed down a bit from this point of view. “
When Riem speaks of her “working life”, she refers to her job as a pharmacist. In 2017, the two-time referee of the year, along with her brother Fadi and sister Fadwa, took over her father’s pharmacy in the spa town of Bad Harzburg in Germany. It is not always easy to reconcile your two professions. “If I have games or tournaments that I can plan well in advance, that’s not a problem,” said the 39-year-old.
“We work from Monday to Saturday at noon and are open all day. A pharmacist has to be there at all times for legal reasons. This is a specific element that must be taken into account when dividing our working hours, and it is difficult. There are three of us , and we’re pretty good at clearing that up. “
“If I work as a referee in the third division or as a fourth official in the Bundesliga 2, the officials will only be given their duties a few days before kick-off and the games can be played anytime from Friday to Monday. Until then.” We worked out our rosters well in advance. When the tasks are done, I really have to start planning.
“I exchange shifts with my brother and sister and try to reconcile my work and my free time so that nobody gets a straw over the shifts. I work most weekends when I don’t have matches and have free time when I’m an umpire. But this organizational stress is something that has simply disappeared recently. “
While one aspect of the stress has disappeared, it has been replaced by a brand new one, with pharmacists like Riem feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic firsthand. “March was a particularly stressful time for us. There was a lot of work and almost every day we had new announcements from the federal government or from the Robert Koch Institute (the government’s disease control agency).
“Experts made new discoveries every day and made new recommendations for action. We always have to be there for our customers so that we were the first point of contact when it came to questions that needed to be answered and to resolve uncertainties we had to deal with, counseling, calming and treating people, giving them their supplies and sharing the experience we had with other infectious diseases with our customers.
“We were at the forefront every day, but we weren’t afraid,” she says of how the coronavirus completely changed her daily life. “I think that was just the right way to do things – letting people know that we take it very seriously without curling up in a ball and hiding. It was very important to send that signal to people to send around us. “
When she is on the court as an umpire, Riem knows that she has to deal with all kinds of different characters, from the regular type to those that are a little more difficult to handle, and this is also reflected in her working life.
“We have to deal with a lot of pressure every day in order to meet the needs and emergencies of our customers. There are currently supply bottlenecks for mouth and nose masks, disinfectants and many other pharmaceutical products and this is pushing us to the limit. My experience as a referee help me deal with all of this, “said Riem, who was born and grew up in Bad Harzburg, where she now works.
“I use factual explanations and combine them with my personality to explain to customers what is happening. In most cases we can get a good understanding. As a referee you learn to choose the right tone when it comes to people to address and recognize Fortunately in certain situations where you need it most. Fortunately, I haven’t yet had to hand over yellow or red cards in my pharmacy, but the rules on the field are the same as in the pharmacy. I do a lot of mine Decisions based on intuition. “
The past few weeks have had a major impact on Riem and her team, both physically and mentally, and have proven to be very demanding. “Weekends and daily training help me recharge my batteries, as does the current Lent in Ramadan, which means I am cleaning my body this month. Otherwise, I try to get enough sleep and alleviate all worries that each of us has one Side has.
“Fortunately, I have a job, which means that I don’t have to worry about my financial situation. I’m incredibly happy that my job is part of an important sector that was allowed to keep its doors open even in times of closure. And that Knowledge that my family is safe and healthy gives me a lot of energy and strength. “