Wednesday, June 16, 2010

BBC Sport - Football - World Cup 2010: Parreira slams referee's performance

BBC Sport - Football - World Cup 2010: Parreira slams referee's performance

When Judges Fail: FIFA Drops the Ball in South Africa: World Cup Tarnished by Unnecessary Referee Call Against the Home Team in a Game against Uruguay, Ousting the South African Goalkeeper

Stupidity remains the world's most common commodity and today it can be said to be in the hands of FIFA, the body that runs the World Cup, for putting a referee in charge of the match between South Africa and Uruguay who has a history of pulling the red card in key games, and he did it again in the Urus 3-0 win, failing to note an Uru offside position, and instead calling for a Uru penalty kick and ousting the home team goalkeeper, totally unnecessarily.

It would seem that the FIFA should school its referees in tournaments such as these not to alienate the home country by stupid refereeing. Home team goalkeepers -- or, for that matter, the goalkeepers of any team -- should be ousted only in cases where a foul allegedly denying an opposing goal is so flagrant as to be acknowledged by all. Here, the foul was minor and was even preceded by an offsides that the referee did not call. A refereeing disaster.

South Africa was behind 1-0 after a lucky deflected goal by the Urus and the home country team was doing its best to catch up in a courageous performance against a defensively-oriented Uruguay team trying to protect its lead. As written already at the Wikipedia:
"Towards the end of the match, [the referee] made a very questionable call which gave South Africa's goalkeeper a Red Card and awarded Uruguay a penalty shot. The replay showed very minor contact between the South African goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune and Luis Alberto Suárez as well as the Uruguayan player being offside [disputed, but definitely possible]. Commentators have heavily criticized the referee's decision as being unreasonably harsh and influenced by Suárez' embellished dive after only minor contact."
One of the main jobs of the FIFA is to see to it that games are not decided by referees but rather by the players on the field and the referees should be instructed that red cards can be given only in CLEAR cases, and not otherwise, to avoid alienating the public unnecessarily. This was NOT a clear case. Quite the contrary, the game has surely soured the South African public, upon whose good will the progress of the rest of the World Cup depends.

The only people who today deserve the red card are the people at FIFA. Let us hope that the rest of the games are not played in empty stadiums -- which, frankly -- the FIFA would deserve.

Update: the entire scandal was foreseeable as this review of the referee shows

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