Archive for June 12th, 2010

Well the second day of World Cup 2010 has finished and the talk is not about referee decisions.

The first two days have been very positive for the refereeing teams in South Africa. An excellent opening match by AFC Referee of the Year Ravshan Irmatov was followed by a superb performance by Yuichi Nishimura of Japan. These were followed by solid performances on Day 2 by Michael Hester of New Zealand in the match between South Korea and Greece, Wolfgang Stark in the match between Argentina and Nigeria and Carlos Simon in the match between England and USA.

Carlos Simon of Brazil had an excellent performance in this high profile match. He made the correct calls and was always in charge.

The main talking point was not a refereeing error but a goalkeeping error by English goalkeeper Rob Green who allowed a straightforward shot to squirm from his hands and go over the goal line.

What has been particularly noticeable has been the fitness of the referees and how close they have been to play when giving decisions.

There will be controversial situations ahead but for the moment enjoy and appreciate the first class performances of our top FIFA referees.

Well done to all our FIFA World Cup referees!

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Brazilian referee in the spotlight

High profile matches bring high profile exposure and today no referee is more in the limelight than Carlos Simon of Brazil who referees the match between England and Brazil.

He is one of FIFA’s most experienced World Cup officials and South Africa is the third FIFA World Cup appointment for Carlos. His first World Cup was Korea/Japan in 2002 when he refereed England v Sweden and Mexico v Italy. He was then appointed to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany where he refereed three matches.

The progress of a referee in the World Cup is inversely proportional to the progress of his national team and so in 2002 referees such as Carlos and Markus Merk of Germany were automatically excluded from the final stages.

Brazil tends to reach at least the semi final of most tournaments so the prospects of a Brazilian referee progressing are negligible.

In 2002 the defeat of Italy by Korea in the Round of 16 was a disastrous result for Italy but it opened the door for Pierluigi Collina to be appointed to the Final match. That is the reality of the World Cup for referees.

Much has been made in the media of comments from Brazil about the performances of Carlos in the Brazilian League but this is standard. Every country believes the referees in other countries are better than its own.

Carlos Simon faces a challenge but he has the experience to deal with it.

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