A fake soccer referee is handing out violations to bad drivers in Toronto
A local citizen hero has taken to Toronto streets in a soccer referee uniform to issue red and yellow cards to careless drivers blocking downtown intersections.
Multiple videos have emerged on social media showing this rogue referee in action at the intersection of Richmond and Pearl Streets.
In the clips, the man wearing black and yellow referee attire can be seen running toward cars blocking pedestrian crosswalks at the intersection, issuing them yellow or red cards as if the drivers were soccer players committing a violation on-field.
The referee has attracted attention on social media with separate clips posted on different platforms, and is even being described as the “hero Toronto deserves.”
The mystery referee cardings are actually a performance art piece created by local artist Martin Reis dubbed “Crosswalk Referee,” which is playing out on Toronto streets during the 2023 Women’s Football World Cup.
Reis debuted Crosswalk Referee on July 27 under the pseudonym Avery Goodcall (a very good call, get it?), a fictional referee working for The Federation of International Fun Artists (FIFA) — which is in no way associated with the real FIFA.
He describes the performance as a work “based in interventionist practice which uses the universal languages of football and humour to address pedestrian safety, privilege, and social interaction in dense urban settings.”
It’s a fun way to promote responsible driving, however, this is not the first time fake referees have shamed drivers.
A similar campaign was carried out by Virginia Commonwealth University police in Richmond, Virginia, earlier in 2023, where people wearing American Football referee uniforms acted as crossing guards to promote safer conditions on campus.