Archive for July 3rd, 2010

Final appointments to be made

The results of the quarter finals have a major influence on the appointments of the referees for the last four matches.

After Netherlands defeated Brazil, it would seem natural to appoint a referee from CONCACAF for the semi final match with Uruguay and the obvious choice is Benito Archundia of Mexico who has been involved in top level, high profile matches both nationally and internationally and could be the man for the job.

Germany v Spain will probably be refereed by a European referee, and Howard Webb of England, with his vast experience is the obvious choice although Frank de Bleeckere of Belgium and Viktor Kassai of Hungary are also possibilities.

The appointment of the referee for the World Cup Final could possibly come from the four referees who were in charge of the quarter finals.

All will be revealed by FIFA in the next few days.

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A tale of three penalties

Referee Carlos Batres of Guatemala was courageous to award a clear penalty kick against Spain for holding in the penalty area in the quarter final match with Paraguay when Gerard Pique wrestled Oscar Cardozo to the ground at a corner.

More referees should have made the same decision in earlier matches but they all made do with a warning before the ball was kicked.

Batres’ problem was that he had not just one penalty kick to decide on but three.

He allowed the Paraguay penalty to be taken despite encroachment by players of both teams and this was a decision which would come back to haunt him when a few moments later he again correctly awarded a penalty kick to Spain.

Within 60 seconds Antolin Alcaraz was deemed to have bundled over Villa in the penalty area and Spain had their own chance from the penalty spot.

Xabi Alonso converted his spot-kick but Spanish joy was short-lived with a retake ordered for encroachment. This time Villar dived low to his left and parried Alonso’s effort with Paraguay just scrambling the rebound to safety.

This was perfectly correct but similar encroachment had taken place at the first penalty kick and he took no action.

This was inconsistent.

After the second Spanish penalty was taken the Paraguay goalkeeper parried the kick but then brought down a Spanish forward and no penalty was awarded.

This was a major error in the quarter finals of the FIFA World Cup but fortunately for Batres, Spain scored in the last ten minutes and the penalty claim was forgotten.

Sometimes a referee can be lucky and sometimes he can be unlucky!

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A tale of two red cards

The first two quarter finals of the tournament were both competitive and dramatic.

The Brazil v Netherlands match was very competitive with both sets of players fighting for every ball and challenging every decision. It was a tough assignment for referee Yuichi Nishimura of Japan and he got the balance just about right.

Brazil lost their tactical discipline towards the end of the match as they chased an equaliser.  Brazilian captain Felipe Melos lost the plot when he stamped on Dutch forward Arjen Robben in the 73rd minute and was correctly shown the red card.

Playing with ten men made it even harder to pull back the equaliser and at the end of the match the Dutch were the most likely to score.

The red card given to Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez in the last minute of extra time for handling the ball on the goal line and preventing the goal which would have taken Ghana through to the semi finals was very different.

Asamoah Gyan of Ghana missed the penalty kick and then Ghana lost the penalty shoot out 4-2 to be eliminated from the tournament.

If the red card for Melos did no favours to Brazil, the red card given to Suarez kept Uruguay in the competition.

Suarez misses the semi final but his team go on to play Netherlands.

You might say it was the best red card he will ever receive.

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