It is said that the best referees are those you never notice in a match.

This is true, but conversely, when you never notice a referee he is never given credit for what could be an outstanding performance.

This is understandable since we come to see the players and the goals and not the match officials.

The spotlight falls on the referee mainly when he makes a mistake or his assistant gives a wrong signal.

That is the reality of the situation and this has always been so.

Unfortunately the South African World Cup will be remembered for poor refereeing decisions.  In reality there have been a handful of major mistakes but they were mistakes made in high profile matches.

Germany v England and Mexico v Italy were two such matches, as was Brazil v Ivory Coast.

A disallowed goal, an offside goal, an illegal goal and an incorrect red card have supported the belief that all refereeing was poor.

It was not. There were some excellent performances, but why should the reality spoil a good story.

The hope is that the referees for the quarters finals, semis and final can pick up their game and turn in top class performances.

It won’t change what has gone before but it will allow the referees to finish on a high note.

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