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The referee thread: discuss referees and their decisions

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gerd

Retired Footballer
8 January 2002
Over the moon
KRC Genk, Spurs
This seems appropriate to start this thread.

Flags in hand, a group of wheezing scribes of questionable fitness are "crabbing" their way left and right along the sideline of an indoor football pitch at St George's Park, opulent home to the National Football Centre in Burton-on-Trent. As the verb suggests, the exercise involves shuttling sideways at speed in order to keep up with and constantly monitor play, while simultaneously providing a moving target for any projectiles that might be raining down from the crowd behind. The ability to "crab" is an essential skill for any match official and one this reporter has since adopted to maximise efficiency while shopping in supermarkets that are long of aisle.
On the whistle of former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher we come to an abrupt halt, at which point Roger Vaughan, the FA's National Referee Manager, shows a card to signal a pre-arranged hypothetical situation and invites us to flag accordingly. Confusion and uncertainty reigns. Our flags go up, some authoritatively, others tentatively and almost all incorrectly. Gallagher is appalled. "It's not so easy, is it?" he barks, scanning the motley bunch standing sheepishly before him showcasing the surprising large number of mistakes it is apparently possible to make while signalling for offside.
Gallagher and Vaughan, along with Professional Game Match Officials Coach Steve Dunn, are ostensibly on hand to highlight the behind-the-scenes work referees and their assistants undertake to hone their skills, but the subtext is fairly obvious. Given the increasing levels of extreme scrutiny and poisonous abuse to which football's much-maligned whistle-blowers are regularly subjected, they clearly just want to be, if not loved, merely appreciated.
"We saw within a couple of decisions that people think it's so easy, but I think you found out very quickly that it isn't," says Gallagher after a session in which the myriad complexities of flag-waving, yellow and red card dissemination and whistle management had been explained and practised. "By the end of the half-hour it was amazing how much had been picked up and taken on board. You were a better referee at the end than you were at the start, because we stopped, we had a little chat, we involved the players and we learned from it. That's what refereeing is about: what you take out of today, you bring into tomorrow."
Having begun in the classroom with an overview of the inaugural FA Carlsberg Referee Awards, launched to recognise and reward the contributions match officials make to grassroots football, the highlight of a fascinating day was a You Are The Ref-style interactive session, in which clips of contentious incidents from assorted Premier League matches were played, analysed and discussed from the referee's perspective.
Notable mainly for the monotonous regularity with which assorted Stoke players and Vincent Kompany seemed to feature, the most intriguing incident was the much-discussed tackle on Jack Wilshere for which the Manchester City defender was dismissed by Mike Dean during Manchester City's 2-0 win over Arsenal last month, only for the decision to be subsequently overturned.
"From the position the referee sees it, there's no doubt in my mind it's a red card," explains Gallagher. "All day long it's a red card. But when you see it sideways on, if he'd knocked that ball out of play you'd give a throw-in. That's how difficult that decision was. But the referee has one look from one angle, so I think if you're going to criticise him for a decision, at least criticise him from the angle he's looking at. Don't get five different angles and just beat him up, because that's not fair."
Fairness, or the lack of it with which officials are judged by pundits is a source of exasperation for Gallagher, who insinuates they, rather than craftier footballers playing at increasingly high speed, are to blame for the problems encountered by referees. "I think refereeing is getting more difficult in that it's analysed so much," he explains. "I think that everybody now wants utopia, which is impossible. You look at decisions and you go 'Yeah, I'd give that', then you see it from a different angle … The referee doesn't have that luxury, he or she sees it from one angle only."
A personal pet peeve as far as officiating is concerned is the common misconception among high-profile pundits, commentators and football fans that goalline officials – "the blokes with the wands" – do not do anything, because they are never seen to do anything. I offer Gallagher a platform to disabuse them of this notion and confirm that these officials are in fact in constant discussion with the referee via radio mic and ear-piece, a more nuanced if less ostentatious means of communication than goalline semaphore.
"The problem with them is exactly as you say," he explains. "They are there to assist and they're in communication with the referee and the trouble with that communication is that the referee hears it but we don't. There's no tangible evidence to say they've got involved – they don't raise a flag, they don't raise their arms. I was back home in Ireland a couple of weeks ago and one of the guys who stands behind the goal for the Irish FA was explaining to me how involved they are and I was absolutely mesmerised, but when you watch on TV you don't see that because it's all verbal."
For all it's occupational hazards – the scrutiny, the brickbats, the poisonous abuse – Gallagher is clearly passionate about refereeing and claims to have had only one unpleasant day during his career as a match official. "That was someone else's misfortune; I refereed the game where poor old David Busst broke his leg," he says, recalling the sickening career-ender suffered by the Coventry City defender in a match at Old Trafford in April 1996. "But anyone who can say they went to work for 22 years and only had one day has got the most brilliant job in the world."
A brilliant job, but an undeniably difficult one … something more football folk might learn to appreciate once they've crabbed a mile in the latest object of their derision's shoes.

By Barry Glendenning of the Guardian
 

beachryan

Golden Boot Winner
4 July 2003
Bermuda
I have two problems with football refereeing:

1. Perhaps more than any other sport, referees in football have the ability to (almost) completely decide results. Football is a game of very few chances, so if a ref gives a penalty that wasn't, or incorrectly rules out an offside goal, that really could be it for a match. This is very unlike basketball, for example, where there are numerous chances every minute. Championships are often decided by a single match, and there have been examples when refereeing mistakes have decided that individual match.

Because of this, most similarly balanced sports have invoked technology to help the referee. Hockey, American Football, cricket, baseball - all of the other major sports use tech to help. Did that ball crucially cross the goalline? Well the refs can't see it, but hey presto the cameras can. So was Kompany's challenge a red card offense? From the refs view yes, from every other camera's view no. Would have taken 30 seconds to overrule and make the right decision.

2. Football is/has become a game of perpetual cheating, and refs don’t try and fix it. Curse at a ref? Red card. Dive? Red card. Feign injury? Red card. Demand a throw in? Red card. Waste time? Red card. If football had any interest whatsoever in being all about ‘sportsmanship’ the whole sport would need to go through a massive transformation. But the powers (read money) in football love the drama, the controversy and so forth. They sell papers, tv subscriptions and website traffic because of the drama, not the sport. Imagine if FIFA had looked at Maradonna’s handball and said you know what, that is deliberately subverting the rules of the game, and we’re not going to stand for it in such a crucial match. Instead knowing the people that are at FIFA they all had a jolly big laugh about how England got screwed and went back to smoking their cigars and doing coke off the back of underage ladyboys...

Qatar wins the World Cup? Ha. How can anyone even pretend that FIFA wants football to be ‘fair’. No way. FIFA cares about one thing and one thing only –cold hard cash.

My personal favourite example is just using a stop watch to time football matches. I’ve never heard a single logical argument against this. It’s virtually free, can be used at every level and instantaneously cuts out time wasting/injury feigning/inconsistent time added on and so forth. In a heartbeat. Two 30 minute halves. Ball out of play, clock stops. The ref has two watches and is supposed to do this anyway!

(as an aside, I have massive respect for referees and what they face. My dad was a FIFA ref for many years at international level, so grew up in a household with the line of ‘the refs decision is final’ – turns out it applies to parenting too!  )
 

beachryan

Golden Boot Winner
4 July 2003
Bermuda
Good example of what I'm talking about: http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/intern...enjoys-luxury-homes-and-cars-in-florida.shtml

This is the ex head of CBF, here's a personal favourite: "In July 2011, the courts of Switzerland disclosed that Teixeira received 12.74 million Swiss francs (some R$ 26.6 million) as bribery from ISL, Fifa's main partner for more than a decade."

He has some of the most prestigious property in Florida, yet claims only a salary of $90k a year from CBF (until he was fired). Hrm...
 
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gerd

Retired Footballer
8 January 2002
Over the moon
KRC Genk, Spurs
I agree with both your posts Beach.
I rarely criticize refs, i think they should get more support from FIFA, UEFA, national FA's but also from managers and players.
Theirs is the most difficult job around a football pitch.
 

Cuky

International
23 June 2007
Rab, Croatia
Real Madrid, Hajduk Split
Can someone please clear a bit what are rules regarding 5th and 6th referee? Can they signal fouls inside penalty area just like linesmen or they can't do anything other than clarify situation for referee if he asks them?
 

Steve-O21

Championship
21 February 2006
Los Angeles, CA
Des Moines Menace
Can someone please clear a bit what are rules regarding 5th and 6th referee? Can they signal fouls inside penalty area just like linesmen or they can't do anything other than clarify situation for referee if he asks them?
I believe they can only assist the referee in making a decision. Coincidentally, the only reason I know this is that it was briefly discussed in the latest Football Weekly Extra podcast.
 

beachryan

Golden Boot Winner
4 July 2003
Bermuda
And just as I'm saying I respect referees and their fallility, this Turkish dipsh*t goes and makes a completely wrong, unnecessary decision which ruined one of the best matches of the year.

And to be honest, I don't see what technology could have done about it either. If he thinks that's a red card (it isn't) then he's not fit to referee. Could have watched it 4 times on an iPad and it wouldn't change his (wrong) mind.
 

Cuky

International
23 June 2007
Rab, Croatia
Real Madrid, Hajduk Split
Wasn't there a red card given to Netherlands player for quite similar offense in WC2010 final? Only difference was that tonight player was kicked under his left arm, and in 2010 kick was in the chest
 

dplane

Big Kahuna Burger
17 August 2012
US of freakin A
ManU/Oranje
Wasn't there a red card given to Netherlands player for quite similar offense in WC2010 final? Only difference was that tonight player was kicked under his left arm, and in 2010 kick was in the chest
Yup. Though even as a Netherlands fan that in some ways that one was slightly understandable. They re better actors in southern Europe than in northern Europe tho..thas for sure
 

beachryan

Golden Boot Winner
4 July 2003
Bermuda
Wasn't similar at all in my opinion. De Jong was looking forward at the ball and so could see Alonso.

Nani wouldn't have seen Arbeloa until the moment his foot touched him, because he was trying to bring down a ball over his shoulder.

Completely different. Also De Jong wasn't sent off.
 

dplane

Big Kahuna Burger
17 August 2012
US of freakin A
ManU/Oranje
de jong finished the game with that yellow. only red card in that game was this one.

YouTube - Heitinga RED Card - Spain vs Netherlands world cup 2010 final

ffs, de jong's tackle of course must have been a red card.
Ah yes, thanks for bringing back bad memories again..gotta love how iniesta dramatizes the fall but whatever.Regardless of who won that final, i knew we d lose just based on acting chops alone. Fifa and Uefa need some major shakeups in the organization. Hopefully in the next few years refs will get instant replay abilities with the help of a miniature tablets or something .

Shit like today will ensure football will never grow big n the US.most folks I know ask me why I watch such a girly sport and when they say that they mean all the poor reffing and play acting. Cant say I fully disagree with that.
 
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Damjan

World Cup Winner
16 July 2011
Arsenal|Juventus|ASSE
I remember a few years back at Old Trafford Eboué made a replica of the Nani foul on Evra and he was sent off, and Ferguson said 'it was the correct decision.' in the post-match interview.

I think it was a deserved red card for Nani.
 

Rentalkid

Premiership
5 August 2003
Germany
I remember a few years back at Old Trafford Eboué made a replica of the Nani foul on Evra and he was sent off, and Ferguson said 'it was the correct decision.' in the post-match interview.

I think it was a deserved red card for Nani.
I do think it was extremely harsh, but not completely out of this world. Tackles like these quite often get the red-card treatment, actually.

And if that's true about what Fergie said back then about THIS foul ... well, decide for yourself ...
YouTube - Eboue Red card
 

spektarm

Premier League
6 October 2006
Manchester United
I remember a few years back at Old Trafford Eboué made a replica of the Nani foul on Evra and he was sent off, and Ferguson said 'it was the correct decision.' in the post-match interview.

I think it was a deserved red card for Nani.
Don't be ridicule, these situations have absolutely NOTHING in common. Take a look. ;)

Here, both player jump for the high ball, obviously to head it away, what's Eboue's foot doing there? Try to jump for a header to see if your foot goes straight forward with the studs.

And on the other hand, tonight's call was a complete and utter joke because Nani was actually trying to CONTROL the ball with his foot WITHOUT having seen that there's a man behind him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH5t58FCs3k
 

Ipswich69

Banned
25 July 2011
Terrible decision by the ref and not the first bad call by him either. Wasn't even a yellow card in my opinion. Nani had every right to pull that ball out of the air with his foot. Soon football we be a no-contact sport.
 

LFC Albania

Banned
13 October 2012
Kosova
Albania NT
I remember a few years back at Old Trafford Eboué made a replica of the Nani foul on Evra and he was sent off, and Ferguson said 'it was the correct decision.' in the post-match interview.

I think it was a deserved red card for Nani.
and look how they run behind refere like dogs telling him to give a red , and Eboue has just touch him a bit , not even as much as nani did this time ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH5t58FCs3k
 

beachryan

Golden Boot Winner
4 July 2003
Bermuda
and look how they run behind refere like dogs telling him to give a red , and Eboue has just touch him a bit , not even as much as nani did this time ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH5t58FCs3k
Can you please go troll somewhere else? It's dull and distracting from people capable of independent thought.

Isn't there a Suarez video on YouTube you could go dig up?

Neither of the incidents you're referencing are remotely similar. As every other poster on here who isn't a childish LFC fanatic has pointed out.
 

Anasie10

Montpellier HSC Fan
3 September 2008
Rabat
Montpellier HSC
I remember a few years back at Old Trafford Eboué made a replica of the Nani foul on Evra and he was sent off, and Ferguson said 'it was the correct decision.' in the post-match interview.

I think it was a deserved red card for Nani.
Nope I'm sorry mate I'm neutral here and clearly Eboue doesn't even play the ball, in the total contrary of Nani.
 

beachryan

Golden Boot Winner
4 July 2003
Bermuda
Oh and I do have 2 points of advice for referees around the world, at all levels after checking on our Turkish friends Twitter:

1. Don't have an official Twitter account
2. If you do, don't have only 2 non-Turkish teams followed, and one of them be Real Madrid, when you're refereeing that team.

Not that I'm accusing him of bias, but very odd decision making.
 

LFC Albania

Banned
13 October 2012
Kosova
Albania NT
Can you please go troll somewhere else? It's dull and distracting from people capable of independent thought.

Isn't there a Suarez video on YouTube you could go dig up?

Neither of the incidents you're referencing are remotely similar. As every other poster on here who isn't a childish LFC fanatic has pointed out.
there is nothing going on with Suarez tonight , he hasn't done anything wrong (tonigh) :D

take it easy buddy as united get help most of times from ref than when this happen against them i wonder how you guys feel like !

anyway im done
 

beachryan

Golden Boot Winner
4 July 2003
Bermuda
take it easy buddy as united get help most of times from ref than when this happen against them i wonder how you guys feel like !
Consider this an open invite to the United thread to prove your point. Most of the times United get help from the referee.

Please come armed with facts and incidents for the majority of matches.

Put up or shut up.
 

gerd

Retired Footballer
8 January 2002
Over the moon
KRC Genk, Spurs
It is stupid to compare De Jong, Eboué and Nani situations.
All three are fundamentally different.

IMO only De Jong should have gotten a red card.
Eboué was never a red card.

BUT

It is not because Ferguson at the time said that Eboué's offense clearly was a red card offense that yesterday's ref did not make a mistake.

Ferguson always tries to infleunce refs and the refereeing board of the FA (however the real name of that board is).

There was never any intent in Nani's foul because Nani couldn't even see Arbeloa, he had his back turned to him.

De Jong knew damn well what he was doing.

I guess one could argue about Eboué's red card but that was more clumsyness than intent IMO. I would never have given that red card, but it wasn't as blatant an error as yesterday's decision.

In the CL thread Thomasgoal is talking about a Laslandes overhead kick goal that was disallowed because the ref considered it dangerous play. Ironically he uses this argument to defend the Turkish referee. If i remember well Laslandes wasn't sent off for the overhead kick. The ref merely disallowed the goal and gave a free kick to Auxerre's opponents. I don't discuss the fact that the ref yesterday should have given a free kick and perhaps even a yellow card, but never in a million years a red card.

Edit after Lami's post:

When i saw at the beginning of the match that the ref was Turkish i had a bad feeling. I know it is stereotyping (and one could even consider this racist) but from all that i hear and read about Turkish football, i don't have much confidence in Turkish football and all that surrounds it. Of course it is wrong to think this, but i just couldn't help myself. What i do think however is that UEFA should be very carefull when appointing referees for such vital matches. It could have been a bad moment for this ref, but sometimes i wonder how it is possible that some refs can ply their trade at the highest level. Not longer ago than saturday i was a ref myself (youth football) and so i know that they have a difficult job. But some mistakes are very bad, this was one...he simply killed the match for neutrals. I was supporting more or less United but above all i wante to see a good match. The ref killed it. I don't mind any team winning silverware as long as this happens fair. Yesterday this was not the case.
 
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Lami

Niche Football
28 May 2007
Sydney
Man Utd, Juve
Completely agree with you on this one.

People don't seem to take the different situations into consideration. It's just black or white for them. I've already posted this in the United thread so I'll just quote myself here instead.

This goes to the ones who say it's a red and comparing to de jong's.
I'm sorry I can't agree with you at all. Things aren't just black and white. There are rules but there are also grey areas where situations need to be taken into consideration. In this situation and going by the rules yes it's a foul. Whether or not a yellow or red should be given is another case. A player jumping for the ball to be won without being extremely reckless should never be a red. A player doing a de jong is forever a red. If you cannot differentiate between the two then you're not one able to judge wisely.
 
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