Saturday, July 05, 2014

Brazil vs. Colombia and Señor Carlos Velasco Carballo

Well the South Americans certainly give no quarter when it comes to referees. Señor Carballo is being pilloried in the media here in Brazil this morning and on Twitter as a corrupt and incompetent match official responsible for the fractured vertebra suffered by their hero Neymar.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Referees fail in challenge to stay in the background

(This is my take for The Associated Press so far in the World Cup on the refereeing here in Brazil)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — World Cup refereeing boss Massimo Busacca had a simple wish before this World Cup.
"Our goal is for the referee to remain in the background during a match and

Friday, June 13, 2014

FIFA Referees boss Massimo Busacca answers my questions

Busacca answered a few questions I asked him as an Associated Press sports writer. They're quite timely considering what happened in tonight's Brazil vs Croatia game. The Japanese referee tonight simply didn't have the experience of spotting simulation that European referees have gained through grim experience. And he should really have shown Neymar a red card for Violent Conduct after straight arming a Croatian player to the neck/

1. It seems almost impossible for referees to identify cheating and simulation because players have become so skilful at pretending to be fouled. How can referees effectively identify cheating players when their behaviour is almost impossible to identify with the naked eye.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Referees don't even things up

It may sometimes seem like it to one-eyed spectators, but referees do not, in my experience, give decisions to even up an earlier mistake. This was the accusation levelled at Anthony Taylor today when he awarded a dodgy penalty to Liverpool following an earlier wrong decision to award West Ham a  goal.
It just doesn't work that way.

Comms cock-up behind the decisin to allow West Ham goal

The mix-up between Anthony Taylor and his assistant during today's crucial Premier League match between West Ham and Liverpool struck at the heart of one of the most important issues in refereeing - the communication between the man in the middle and his team of two assistants and a fourth official.
On Saturday, I ran the line in a Kent County League game for a young and promising referee who is rising quickly up the ladder. He certainly made me feel my age as he sprinted around the pitch.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

We all dread what happened to Marriner, but life goes on

You can imagine the conversation, held against the backdrop of 35,000 Chelsea fans baying for a penalty.:
AM: "What's all the fuss about? I didn't see anything. Corner Chelsea?"
Assistant Ref:: "No Andre, it's a deliberate handball. Penalty Chelsea and Red to defender.
AM: OK thanks for spotting it. Which player is it? Oxlade-Chamberlain?"
AR: "Er...No, it's Gibbs."
AM: "OK, Thanks"

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Rafael benefits from ref's credibility gap to avoid Chelsea erd card

Manchester United's Rafael produced a challenge in the dying moments of the loss to Chelsea on Sunday that should have been rewarded with a red card. No doubt. He flew through their air with both feet off the ground from about two metres and only avoided causing Gary Cahill serious damage because the Chelsea defender wisely got out of the way.
There's also no doubt that Phil Dowd did not see the incident.

3G pitches must be the future

Very few games were played in Kent at the weekend - for the fourth or 5th weekend in a row. But mine was, simply because it was moved to a  3G pitch, a surface that I would be delighted to see as the future of all football. The game was a lowly one, the bottom division of the Kent County League. Often, they are scruffy affairs, with the ball lumped from end to end. Not this game though.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Good to watch a star ref in the making after a grim weekend

I won't name him as it'll probably go to his head but I had the pleasure to assist someone who could well be a star in the making at the weekend. Only 18 years old, the lad had it all as a referee; calm, confident and astonishingly fit.

No goalie, no goalie, 3 times No goalie

Running the line on Saturday in a south London cup match between the league toppers and a team from the division below. Lower league team awarded a penalty and I'm on the goal-line for the normally routine task of making sure the goalie doesn't take more than one step towards the penalty taker. He's supposed to stay on the line but interpetation of the law has been liberalised over the years.