Archive for June 21st, 2010

Pressure on referees increases

As everyone expected, the pressure is increasing on the referees.

There have been some questionable decisions in recent matches and as the group stage of the tournament gets toward the important crunch matches the controversies will increase.

Today FIFA held a media briefing when José-Maria Garcia Aranda, the Manager of the FIFA World Cup referees, faced questions from the world’s journalists.

FIFA Had already stated that it would not comment on individual decisions or referees but among the questions which the journalists probably would have liked to be answered might be:

USA v Slovenia

Why was the late American goal by Maurice Edu chalked off by referee Koman Coulibaly of Mali?

Brazil v Ivory Coast

Did French referee Stephane Lannoy allow too much physical play?

Should Brazil’s second goal have been disallowed for handball?

Did the referee see the incident which resulted in Kaka’s second yellow card?

Italy v New Zealand

Was the referee taken in by the theatrics of the Italian players?

Was the penalty kick correct and if it was can we expect the same standard to apply to all holding inside the penalty area?

Australian Red Cards

Did Tim Cahill’s tackle deserve a red card?

Did Harry Kewell deliberately handle the ball on the goal line?

Germany v Serbia

Was the Spanish referee Alberto Undiano, correct to issue nine yellow cards and to send off Miroslav Klose?

Chile v Switzerland

Did Saudi referee  Khamil Al Ghamdi need to issue nine yellow cards and one red during the match?

José-Maria Garcia Aranda however has put these questions out of bounds and I think he is absolutely correct to do so.

To publically question or to criticise the team would be totally wrong and Garcia Aranda, as the manager of the team, must avoid catering to the voracious demands of the media to the detriment of his referees.  

As I said in an earlier article, the referees, the Referees Committee and their technical support are part of a team. Like all the teams taking part there must be full public support for the team members by the manager.

Criticism should, and will, be done in private

  • Share/Bookmark

Pot calls the kettle black!

Diego Maradona spoke to the media in Pretoria on Monday and with his team almost certain to qualify for the next stage he was in a relaxed mood

He mischievously described Luís Fabiano’s second goal for Brazil against the Ivory Coast yesterday as a “double handball” and said it was “shocking” to see the referee, Stéphane Lannoy, laughing with the player afterwards.

The Argentina coach, who’s “Hand of God” goal against England at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico is one of the most discussed goals in football history, said: “This one was with his arm, he brought it down with his arm. It’s very evident. I think there was a double handball.”

“What’s tragicomic is the referee’s smile afterwards. When I scored the goal against England, I didn’t see the referee laugh. He had so many doubts, he looked at his linesmen, there was no fourth referee at that time, he looked at the crowd to see if they gave him a hand.

“But yesterday, the referee went back to the centre circle laughing and that’s what shocked us all.

So if you saw it why didn’t you penalise it?

The words pot – kettle – black come to mind!

  • Share/Bookmark

Déjà vu for Brazilian number 10

The sending off of Brazilian star Kaka in the last few minutes of the match with Ivory Coast was very much a case of déjà vu.

The Brazilian number 10 was sent off after Ivory Coast forward Kader Keita ran into his back and then fell to the ground clutching his face.

The Ivory Coast players reacted angrily and a mass confrontation resulted.

Kaka tried to explain to explain to Didier Drogba that nothing had happened and the television pictures proved he was blameless.

Unfortunately the referee was taken in by the simulation and Kaka was dismissed for a second yellow card. He will miss Brazil’s next match against Portugal.

Cast your mind back to 2002 World Cup Korea/Japan,

Do you remember another Brazilian number 10, Rivaldo, being involved in a very similar case of simulation in the match between Brazil and Turkey? As the ball was kicked towards him to take a corner, it struck him on the leg. He then rolled about holding his face and a Turkish player was sent off.

Unfortunately the assistant standing at the corner flag missed the incident.

So what can be done?

In 2002 Rivaldo was heavily criticized, and ridiculed, for his behaviour and was charged with bringing the game into disrepute. He was fined $10000, the maximum then allowed under the FIFA World Cup Rules.   

FIFA must take action against Kaita. It cannot  issue a retrospective yellow card but it should publicise and punish his cheating in the same way it did with Rivaldo eight years ago.

  • Share/Bookmark

Was Brazil’s second goal handball?

Handball has been a frequent topic in the World Cup so far.

Penalty kicks have been awarded against defenders such a Nemanja Vidic of Serbia for handling overhead balls and of course Australian forward Harry Kewell was sent off in the match against Ghana for deliberately handling the ball on the goal line and preventing a goal.

A decision hotly disputed by the Australian.

The handball story continued on Sunday.

Luciano’s second goal for Brazil against Ivory Coast seemed to me to be rather dubious and the question was ‘did he handle the ball?’

I think he did, not once but twice, in the build up to the goal and was very surprised that no Ivory Coast player protested.

The referee was very close to the play but in my opinion it was deliberate hand ball and the goal should not have been allowed.

  • Share/Bookmark