Referee Carlos Eugenio Simon is preparing to hang up his whistle at the end of the season. He’s mentioned as a candidate for Minister of Sport in his counrtry Brazil and perhaps will engage in political life in the near future.
Written by Valdir Bicudo, a befriended Brazilian journalist and referee commentator at Parana Online.
Simon was the Brazilian representative in the last three World Cups. He’s, as a well-known referee, adored by many and opposed by many other fans. In an interview with Parana Online, Simon speaks about all the years in his career, the experience gained over time, analyzes the current arbitration in Brazil and abroad, and comments on the need for professionalization of refereeing and the changes that may revolutionize the role of the officials on the field and football as a whole.
Carlos Eugenio Simon graduated in journalism and wrote the book Na Diagonal do Campo (On the diagonal of the field) about the rules of the game and the routine of an referee. In addition to three World Cups, Simon also officiated four finals of the Brazilian Championship, five cup finals in Brazil and another one of the Copa Libertadores and the World Cup for Clubs, which will be held again December of this year.
You are the most important Brazilian referee these days. What is the feeling of having participated in three World Cups, a milestone in Brazilian arbitration?
Carlos Eugenio Simon: “The feeling of participating in a World Cup is wonderful – think of three. All of this is the result of much discipline, sacrifice and determination. It is worth noting the importance of family support, referees, assistants and friends.”
Why did the referees and linesmen during the recent World Cup in South Africa make mistakes to such an extent, even though the selection process was considered unprecedented by Fifa when it comes to arbitration?
“Most of the decisions were correct. There were a few mistakes, but fallibilityis part of being human. I think referees and assistants did proper training and preparation. A process which is progressing.”
Why were you and your assistants Altermir Hausmann and Roberto Braatz, although you’ve all done an excellent job, not scheduled in most games?
“We did our part, which was coming to South Africa on and work competently. We worked on two sets which had great magnitude and were praised by everyone – the committee, instructors, colleagues and the press. We are referees and are not responsible for scales.
What is the influence of the media on the work of the referee in Brazil, South America and the world?
“Some in the media world knows or has worked in the arbitration, but the majority knows very little of this activity.”
Are you in favor of the professionalization of arbitration in its entirety or only for the major competitions? In Brazil, there are conditions for the professionalisation of football referee?
“It’s the only way I see it. Football has long ago turned into a big business and the referee remains ‘amateur’. I’ve always defended and will continue to support the professionalization of refereeing.”
What o you think of the implementation of two more assistants behind the goal?
“From what I’ve read and heard so far, I am in favor. I think these introduction of these AR’s will help a lot, yes.”
How do see the use of technology in football?
“The chip in the ball would be one solution, for example in WC situations in games of England and Germany, where the ball crossed the goal line completely for 33 inches and cannot be seen with the naked eye by arbitration. I support a chip in the ball. What do not favor is to stop play and look at the replay. ”
What about the suffering of the referees and assistants when their performance is shown with 32 television camera’s?
“As I wrote earlier, the emotions and pressures are strong in football and we need support from psychologists, coaches, instructors, body language. All this to ease the tension.”
Isn’t the use of high technology versus a referee who has only two eyes unfair?
“It may be unfair, but we live in an age of technology. But the mathematics of arbitrage is also unfair. If you whistle ten games and make a mistake in one, is it that one they remember. The official takes on average about 150 decisions in a game and hits most, but there’s a debate that he is wrong. ”
You leave the FIFA because of the age limit of 45 years. Which Brazilian referee will succeed you?“The Brazilian Arbitration is competent and have referees who may well succeed me.”
What are your projects after you’ll stop?
“For now I do not think much about it. I want to finish my career in full physical, technical and psychological strength.”
This guest blog is translated from Portugese. Mistranslations are my bad, but you can find the original text on Bicudo’s blog. I’m very happy we could exchange copy for our blogs. If you have a good idea for a guest blog, you are more than welcome.
Read also other articles from Valdir Bicudo on the Dutch Referee Blog.