The smoothest handshake for referees in the player tunnel is by Joe Fletcher. The Canadian assistant referee is – at least amongst referees – known for this.
PS: next week a full interview with this Canadian top AR.
It all happens during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The 18th of June in Estádio Maracanã. The referees are ready and all players line up in the tunnel for the group stage game between Spain and Chili. Someone shakes hands with Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas. Assistant referee Joe Fletcher is next …
And then this happens.
Video of the handshake
People remember him about this situation a lot, Fletcher says. “Even when there was a new clip about goalkeepers from FIFA, they highlighted Casillas.” And of all the footage they got from this experienced Spanish goalkeeper, they pick the footage from the World Cup. “And again, that handshake shows up. Yeah it’s funny now”.
Fletcher was happy the game went really smooth, so he could have a laugh about this afterwards. “And when we were leaving the stadium we talked about it. Sean Hurd says: It had to be you and I am happy it was you and not me”.
The Schumacher Battiston collision. A famous moment in sports history. Dutch tv program Andere Tijden Sport (Different Times Sport) broadcasted a good documentary tonight on national television about the collision between Patrick Battiston and Harald ‘Toni’ Schumacher in the semi-final of the World Cup 1982. Referee Charles Korver tells about how he experienced the match. “I got appointed because the Germans and French requested me.”
The documentary shows Korver reading the Dutch newspapers: ‘good performance’, ‘sublime referee’. “A few days later the video from behind the goal was shown in Holland. If I had the opportunity to watch it back? I think I’d have given Schumacher a red card. But in the match I was convinced I made the right call.” See the video of the collision below.
Video of Schumacher Battiston collision
Korver: “It was difficult to judge what happened, because I followed the ball. I thought: it was going to be a goal. A bit later I recognised the collision between Schumacher and Battiston. I went to my assistant Mr. Valentine, a very good referee from Scotland, and asked him if he saw something I missed.”
The French were furious, like one of the tv reporters: “Mister Korver, if you’re going to retire after this match, you’ve officiated one match too much.” But this wasn’t the end for the referee from Holland. He got rewarded with a 9.5 and got appointed for his fourth Europa Cup final a year later.