Referees preview – Cameroon v Denmark
For every manager or player who’s ever said that referees can’t properly judge games as they’ve never played football, they can’t make that particular tract with Jorge Larrionda. It may have been in the Uruguayan sixth division but as a striker he bagged quite a few goals. Unlike his last match at the World Cup, a disappointing 0-0 stalemate between the usually flambouyant Portugal and Cote D’Ivoire. Tonight he takes charge of another African team trying to upset European opposition as Cameroon take on Denmark.
Away from his job as a clerk, Larrionda is considered one of South America’s top officials but be wary. This usually happy-go-lucky man off the field can get a bit grumpy on the pitch.
He has one of the highest averages of red cards per game for top referees with an astonishing 70% of matches in which he takes charge containing one or more red cards. This was exemplified in the Copa Libertadores 2007 when he sent off a player in every game he oversaw. This was at least a decrease from the semi-final of the 2003 Copa Sudamericana when the Uruguay sent off six players in one game making the Battle of Nuremberg look like a friendly kickabout.
But as long you don’t make any silly or reckless fouls, you’ll find Larrionda to be an excellent man in the middle, further evidenced by his silver whistle award from World Referee three years ago.
At home in Montevideo, he has a small zoo at his home containing parrots, dogs and other animals. He also likes to play the lottery in Uruguayan but hopefully the numbers that come up for him tonight will be small or we could be looking at a rather furious touchline.
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