Friday’s referees reviewed
Penalty appeals, disallowed goals, sendings off. The referees of the two opening games of this year’s World Cup were kept busy by the action on the pitch. But how they did do? We look back at an eventful day in South Africa for the officials.
South Africa v Mexico
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov
Yellow cards: 4 – Masilela, Dikgacoi (South Africa), Juarez, Torrado (Mexico)
Red cards: 0
Irmatov and his assistants had an excellent game, letting the game flow and calling almost every decision correctly. When Carlos Vela managed to get the ball in the net during the first-half, it was correctly flagged for offside by the eagle-eyed linesman.
The referee kept control of the game despite the understandable nerves and tension among the players and BBC co-commentator Mark Lawrenson singled him out for special praise after the game.
Ref rating: 9/10
Uruguay v France
Referee: Yuichi Nishimura
Yellow cards: 6 – Lugano, Victorino, Lodeiro (Uruguay) Evra, Ribery, Toulalan (France)
Red cards: 1 – Lodeiro (Uruguay)
As we predicted earlier this would be a fiery contest. Beating their 2002 game by one yellow card, the two teams fought a highly physical but ultimately negative contest. Nishimura started the game slightly off-kilter, breaking up the game by blowing for neglible fouls and giving Franck Ribery a questionable booking.
His assistant also made an error when France’s goalie Hugo Lloris went over the touchline with the ball in his arms but no corner was given. But as the game went on Nishimura grew more focused and deservedly began to penalise players for their rash tackles.
The major talking point came with the arrival of Nicolás Lodeiro as a second-half subsitute. He was booked by the official for allegedly throwing the ball away when France was awarded a free-kick but replays suggest he was simply rolling the ball backwards for play to be restarted.
However a dreadful lunge on Les Bleus Bacary Sagna warranted further punishment and even though Lodeiro was shown a second yellow and received his marching orders, many will argue a straight red would have been more appropriate – and the longer suspension that goes along with it.
Nonetheless Nishimura didn’t make any big errors and officialed to the very letter of the law at times in a stop-start game less experienced referees would have failed to handle correctly.
Ref rating: 7/10
Overall a very positive start to the tournament from the perspectives of football fans and the performances of the men in the middle. It only makes sense that with the very best soccer players on the globe competing, we expect no lesser standards from the officials.
Check back later for previews of tomorrows’ officials and as always get up to the minute news about refs, rules and red cards at our twitter page.
I haven’t looked at the list of referees and the games that they will officiate. Will Mr. Howard Webb officiate one of England’s games?
Posted from United States
refs can’t officiate their countries’ matches, so no.
No, as Vic says referees can’t oversee matches involving their own nations. This also extends to continental biases at times – so for example, a South American referee from Chile wouldn’t official a Brazil game as they may favour the South American nation.
As for Howard Webb, his first match of the finals will be Spain vs Switzerland on Wednesday.
England’s first game will be refereed by Carlos Simon of Brazil
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