Review on World Cup refereeing

The group stage of this World Cup has almost finished. The referees today where doing good. Howard Webb has a very solid performance in a crazy match. I think he’s up for a place at the final sixteen. But he’s not the only candidate. A review of World Cup refereeing 2010.

Swiss newspaper Blick blames referee Al Ghamdi for the loss against Chile:'Ref, you camel'.

The first round was good for the referees, as mentioned in the guest blog ‘Golden medal for the referees by the befriended Brazilian journalist Valdir Bicudo.

But just a few hours after I published the blog there were some controversial moments in the match between USA and Slovenia. Malinese referee Koman Coulibaly disallowed a last minute goal by the Americans (see video), which caused a lot of criticism. Dear (American) readers, what about Dempsey’s offence in the first minute?

In the first weeks I’ve never heard the sports programs on television talk about the referees. But that changed. And I totally agree with the tweet after the match between Brazil and Ivory Coast by Grant Wahl, a senior writer at Sports Illustrated.

“I’ll say it again: I love this sport, but I tire of how often the postgame discussion centers on the officiating.”

How was the referee coverage in your countries’ sports programmes?

Tomorrow are the last matches in the group stage. The final rounds are almost ready to begin. But who should be officiating that matches? My top 5 referees (in no particular order): Howard Webb, Ravshan Irmatov, Hector Baldassi, Carlos Simon and Wolfgan Stark.

Update: Fifa announced the first referees of the final round.

Which referees should be send home and who deserves a spot in one of the finals? Who’s your favourite for the final? Please let me now your opinion in the comments section below.