Archive for June 13th, 2010

Sour grapes from Uruguay

It is not all praise for the referees in the first three days of the World Cup.

Ignacio González, the Uruguayan midfielder, has accused World Cup referees of favouring the tournaments big name players.

Nicolas Lodiero of Uruguay was sent off against France and Gonzales said “Here it is important to know that match officials are also trying to make a name for themselves. Perhaps Lodiero would not have been sent off if his name was Patrice Evra”

The Valencia midfielder claimed that Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura had favoured France’s big names throughout the match which ended in a goalless draw.

He added “ It happened at other times during the game. I was penalised for fouls that were then committed afterwards by other more famous players who were not punished.

“Let’s see what the referee is like in the next game. With the South Africa v Mexico there did not seem to be any favouritism so let’s hope in our game it is the same.”

Not too many people agree with his opinions.

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Praise from the pundits

Extraordinary things are happening in this World Cup.
The pundits are praising the referees!

Former England manager Kevin Keegan said on UK television after Day 3 of the tournament,
“The referees have been absolutely outstanding” while Former French captain Patrick Viera said of Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez,
“The referee has done his job perfectly.”
Scotland manager Craig Levein said
“Noticed the refs in this World Cup? Me neither.
And that’s great. What we’re seeing are the best officials in the world and I can honestly say there has not been a decision yet which has had a real impact on the game.
That’s all you ask of refs, that they get the big ones right. And if we are sitting here a month from now still not talking about them, great.”

Praise indeed from the pundits but will it last?

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Assistants on top of their game

Once more in the FIFA World Cup there have been some tremendous signals, or non-signals, from assistant referees.
In today’s match between Germany and Australia, refereed by Mexican Marco Rodriguez, the first German goal was an excellent example of the ‘wait and see’ technique used by assistant referees.
When the ball was played in from the right wing the German player Miroslav Klose, number 11, was in an offside position but the ball was played to his colleague Thomas Mueller, number 13, who was not in an offside position. The assistant, correctly, did not signal for offside and the ball eventually broke to Lukas Podolski who scored with a spectacular drive.
This was an outstanding example of the skill of the assistant and the importance of their role in the match cannot be underestimated.
The fourth German goal was also an example of excellent work by the other assistant. A ball played from distance is always hard to judge but he was absolutely correct and allowed play to continue.
In many ways the role of the assistant is more difficult than that of the referee, although it is the referee who makes the ultimate decision.
The Mexican assistant referees, Jose Luis Ramago and Alberto Morin were on top of their game and deserve great credit for their efforts.

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