Portugal turns yellow too; Swedes not

Exactly 39 years ago, the first yellow cards were handed out in the Dutch national league. Seven were booked at the start of the 1972/1973 season, but media still struggle to figure out who got the card first.

Youngest Fifa referee at that moment, 31-year-old Jan Keizer from Volendam, announced one day before the tournament in De Telegraaf that ‘referees will hand out yellow cards much faster than they did before when referees just gave warnings’. They had to be more strict on ‘laying down an opponent’ and ‘not taking enough distance when you’re in the wall’.

Keizer was happy with the new measures. “They are fantastic, because they’re of importance for the real football lovers.” The Dutch talented referee stressed that referee’s decisions will differ, but that uniformity is the aim. “With all different characters there’ll be no hundred percent uniformity, but that’s what we strive for.”

These days referees give more cards than in the seventies, but there are many differences between countries. In the infographic below, you can see the ‘yellowest’ country based on data from Worldfootball.net and Futebol365.pt. How darker the tint, the more yellows are handed out. No data available of light blue countries. The chosen colour is green, because differences in yellow tints were unclear.

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Portugal was the country with most straight red cards, as you could read last week, and they also top the list of most yellow cards per match. With 5,22 p/m Portugese players are closely followed by the Spanish with 5,19 p/m.

Referees in Scandinavian countries booked the least players per match: Norway (2,3), Danmark (2,38), Finland (2,92) and Sweden (3,19).

It’s difficult to give an explanation fo that. Are referees in northern countries milder or do players behave better? In next weeks I’m going to take a look at the stats of Scandinavian referees in European competitions. That could give a possible explanation.

Peter Walton forgot his cards

Referee Peter Walton forgot his cards in the match between Everton and Birmingham City. It looked a bit odd, but he still got ‘cards’ from his pocket and put ‘them’ in the air.

From what I’ve read, he gave the cards in the break. Anyone seen a video from that?

New and updated World Cup referee stats

More and updated stats about the World Cup referees.

Most cards this World Cup
Howard Webb: 17 yellow cards (in 3 matches)
Yuichi Nishimura: 15 yellows (including one second yellow card) and 1 red card (in 4 matches)
Khalil Al Ghamdi: 15 yellow cards and 1 red card (in just 2 matches, so his average number of cards per match is the highest during the South Africa World Cup)

Lowest average number of cards
1 by Michael Hester: 1 card in 1 match
2,66 by Ravshan Irmatov: 8 yellows in 3 matches (Saturday he’ll officiate his 4th match)
3 by Massimo Busacca: 2 yellows and 1 red in 1 match
3 by Wolfgang Stark: 9 yellows in 3 matches
3 by Viktor Kassai: 9 yellows in 3 matches
3 by Roberto Rosetti: 5 yellows and 1 red in two matches

Youngest/oldest referee (years/days)
24y 193d Juan Gardeazabal, ESP 1958
27y 62d Francisco Mateucci, URU 1930
53y 236d George Reader, ENG 1950

Most red cards
6 Arturo Brizio Carter, MEX 1994-1998
5 Joël Quiniou, FRA 1986-1994
4 Jamal Al Sharif, SYR 1986-1994
4 Felipe Ramos Rizo, MEX 2002
4 Graham Poll, ENG 2006
4 Valentin Ivanov, RUS 2006

Refereed most matches
8 Joël Quiniou, FRA 1986-1994
8 Jorge Larrionda 2006-*
7 Jan Langenus, BEL 1930-1938
7 Benjamin Griffiths, WAL 1950-1958
7 Juan Gardeazábal, ESP 1958-1966
7 Ali Bujsaim, UAE 1994-2002
7 Carlos Simon 2002-*
7 Frank De Bleeckere, BEL 2006-*
7 Benito Archundia, MEX 2006-*
6 Ivan Eklind, SWE 1934-1950
6 Arthur Ellis, ENG 1950-1958
6 Nickolaj Latychev, URS 1958-1962
6 Jamal Al Sharif, SYR 1986-1994
6 Arturo Brizio Carter, MEX 1994-1998
6 Gamal Ghandour, EGY 1998-2002
6 Roberto Rosetti, ITA 2006-*
6 Oscar Ruiz, COL 2002-*
Jorge Larrionda has officiated 4 matches during this World Cup and now holds the record with Joël Quiniou.

Carlos Simon is not sent home and got two good performances. There’s still a chance of him getting his 8th World Cup match. Frank De Bleeckere also got the chance to reach the amount of 8 matches, because he officiated 3 matches so far in SA.

During this World Cup Jorge Larrionda has officiated four matches, but he was send home after the controversial (non-)goal by Frank Lampard against Germany. Rosetti is also back home after an clear offside goal from Argentina against Mexico.

For everyone who missed the appointments of the quarter finals on my Twitter page: HOL-BRA Nishimura URU-GHA Benquerenca ARG-GER Irmatov PAR-SPA Batres.

Refereed most matches in a tournament
5 Horacio Elizondo, ARG 2006
5 Benito Archundia, MEX 2006
4 John Langenus, BEL 1930
4 Nikolai Latyshev, URS 1962
4 José Ramiz Wright, BRA 1990
4 Sandor Puhl, HUN 1994
4 Joel Quiniou, FRA 1994
4 José Torres Cadena, COL 1994
4 Franck De Bleeckere, BEL 2006
4 Lubos Michel, SVK 2006
4 Jorge Larrionda, URU 2006 and 2010
4 Roberto Rosetti, ITA 2006
4 Ravshan Irmatov, UZB 2010*
4 Hector Baldassi, ARG 2010*
4 Yuichi Nishimura, JAP 2010*

Baldassi officated three matches in the group stage and 1 match in the round of the last 16. Yuichi Nishimura refereed yesterday in the quarter final between Holland and Brazil. Ravshan Irmatov will officiate his 4th match on Saturday 3rd of June. Will he get the final?

And for everyone who missed the appointments of the quarter final stage via my Twitter account: HOL-BRA Nishimura URU-GHA Benquerenca ARG-GER Irmatov PAR-SPA Batres.

In a few days I’ll publish an interview with Jaap Uilenberg about the movie Kill the referee and next week about Dutch refereeing.

Have a good day, and if you have some good ideas for my blog, just let me know.