FIFA sued over World Cup refereeing

Colombian fans who are not happy with world Cup refereeing

A Colombian lawyer sued Fifa over World Cup refereeing decisions in the quarter final match between his national team and Brazil. According to BBC he wants the world football governing body to pay him 1bn euros because of “moral damages”.

Colombian lawyer Aurelio Jiminez was quoted by the BBC about his case: “I felt very bad, I was heartbroken, my cardiac rhythm was altered and my relatives took me to the emergency room at the hospital. I was surrounded by my grandchildren who were crying a lot.”

The Guardian tried to speak to referee of that match Carlos Velasco Carballo. He refused. His only comment: “Unfortunately I cannot talk about it. I would like to but the rules do not allow it. We did a Fifa open day for the referees at the start of the tournament and we were all very open that day. I can talk to you about Manchester United or Chelsea or José Mourinho or anything else, but not this, thank you.”

Photo Creative Commons Montaplex.

Offside rule: correct call decides Valencia clash

The offside rule is still a difficult one for players, fans and even referees. As an assistant referee it’s sometimes difficult to see if a defender is touching the ball and if it’s a deliberate pass as well. In Saturday’s local clash between Levante and Valencia referee Carlos Velasco Carballo had to make such a difficult call.
After a pass from a Levante defender Ángel was in offside position, but he’s walking back and doesn’t interfere with play immediately. Check out the video (from about 2 minutes) first and then read the case study below.

As you can see in the video: referee Velasco Carballo initially raises his hand to give an indirect free kick after an offside signal by his assistant referee. But then something triggers him to go to his assistant referee and discuss the whole situation. Yes, the assistant referee was correct that the player was in offside position when the ball was played. But how did play continue? Below you’ll see a good case study of the offside rule changes as introduces during the 2013/2014 season.

Offside rule: Levante attacker Ángel is in offside position at the moment the ball is passed.

Offside rule: Levante attacker Ángel is in offside position at the moment the ball is passed.

The long ball is reaching a Valencia defender who sees the ball coming. He waits for it and tries to pass the ball forward with his head. The picture below shows that the attacker who was in offside position is not interfering with play at this moment. The Laws of the Game say that “interfering with play” means

  • playing or touching the ball passed or touched by a team-mate.
  • OR: preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or movement or challenging an opponent for the ball.

The Levante attacker is completely out of the picture below, which means that he’s definately not challenging the defender. The ball came through the air, so he’s also not blocking the defender’s view.

Offside rule: deliberate pass or not?

Offside rule: deliberate pass or not?

But the header from the defender fails completely, the ball moves backwards towards his own goalie. In just a few seconds the Levante attacker, who was in offside position, reacts and reaches the ball very fast, runs to the goal and scores. There was some chaos with protesting players, the referee and his assistant discussing the situation. Because the question now is: was Levante attacker Ángel gaining advantage of his offside position?

A Spanish refereee blog immediately tweeted: “Perfect teamwork. Levante’s goal is legal. The defender plays the ball deliberately.”

And the blog is right about that. The Laws of the Game says the following: “A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent, who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save), is not considered to have gained an advantage.”

Good call by referee Carlos Velasco Carballo and his assistant referee.

UPDATE: Look at the comment of Niclas below. Did you hear the whistle? I did not until listing a few more times. So the above is true if the referee did not whistle. But if a referee whistles and then changes his decision, restart should be a drop ball.

Thanks for the comment!

Referees in the media (week 20-23)

‘Referees in the media’ will be published at the beginning of the week on the Dutch Referee Blog and provides remarkable or interesting quotes and links to articles worth reading.

Sorry for the delay, guys. I’m going to marry later this month and it takes some time to arrange things. Will provide you with some interviews and blogs later on, also on a more regular basis. Here are some quotes of the last weeks for you. I hope you’ll enjoy.

“The referee has become someone who applies the rules. I rarely see real authorities, referees with charisma.”

Charles Corver, referee at the 1980 World Cup in Italy, dislikes Uefa’s decision that referees may not explain their decisions to the media. He also wishes that referee could give just a warning and not a yellow in sportive maches. Quotes in Dutch newspaper Trouw.

“I’m a very calm person, and a big match like Friday’s doesn’t affect me that much.”

Carlos Velasco Carballo before the opening match at Euro 2012, where he send of Greece player Sokratis Papastathopoulos after two unjustified yellow cards.

“It is crucial not only to have referees with a professional approach, but we must also have the right environment and create a professional structure. We have to protect and support the referees, and we have to prepare them.”

Said FIFA President Joseph Blatter.

“I have been involved in refereeing since I was 14 and this excellent news makes that commitment all the more worthwhile.”

Willie Collum becomes an Uefa Elite referee.

“The most surprising inclusion in the list after disappointing Chief Refereeing Officer Pierluigi Collina earlier this year when refusing a penalty in the Milan v Barcelona Champions League quarter-final and then defending his decision on TV. He is very ambitious and very confident.”

Former English top referee Graham Poll gives his verdict about the Euro 2012 referees. Read his opinion about the other referees here
. Got this thanks to ‘The Referee’, a worth following referee blog by John King.

Reactions from referees who’ll go to EC 2012

Uefa has selected twelve referees for the European Championship 2012 in Ukraine and Poland.

You can find the Uefa list with twelve referees and the fourth officials here. I’ve searched the internet for reactions from each appointed referee, which you can find below.

European referee boss Pierluigi Collina on

“The 12 are all referees from the elite group, so they are the top referees in Europe. They have all refereed UEFA Champions League matches during the past two seasons. What they can guarantee are two main elements – quality and experience. And only one referee, Howard Webb, was at UEFA EURO 2008. So there has been significant turnover.”

Cüneyt Çakır from Turkey was appointed after a lapse of sixteen years without a Turkish referee at a European Championship. The Turkish FA the selection of Çakır a “historic achievement“.

Jonas Eriksson from Sweden on the website of the Swedish FA:

“I am extremely proud, happy and grateful to be one of the twelve referees who will go to the European Championship finals and can enjoy this tournament. I want to send a big gratitude to everyone in Swedish football: from refereeing colleagues and observers to the players and coaches who all in different way have developed me as a soccer referee.”

Hungarian FA praises their referee Viktor Kassai as ‘one of the best referees in the world’. And called it ‘no surprise’ that their fellow countryman is elected for the tournament in Ukraine and Poland.

Bjorn Kuipers was pretty happy he got called personally by Pierluigi Collina to tell him the good news. “A very nice conversation.” Watch the interview Dutch media had with the referee from The Netherlands:

Stéphane Lannoy from France got much support from his national referee chief Marc Batta.

“This is clearly a confirmation of the skills of Stéphane, you do not qualify for a World (2010) and a European Championship without proof of quality. But after enjoying this appointment, Stéphane will have to continue to work hard to prepare for this next stage.”

Pedro Proença from Portugal was selected instead of fellow countryman Olegario Benquerenca. Referee boss Vítor Pereira thinks Portugese referees are all good quality: “This appointment seems to be a reflection of the overall quality of the Portuguese arbitrators and arbitration, their commitment and dedication to refereeing.”

Nicola Rizzoli from Italy has been chosen as one of the twelve, but has not made a statement yet. Neither has the Italian referee organisation.

Damir Skomina from Slovenia had not talked to the media yet.

German referee boss Herbert Fandel congratules Wolfgang Stark with his place at Euro 2012.

“Wolfgang Stark to the Elite of European referees. He has represented the German referees excellently at the World Cup in South-Africa. The nomination for the EC is a confirmation of his constant performance in latest years.”

Scottish FA’s latest news is about Renfrewshire referees who show their respect for veterans. Hope for them they didn’t miss Craig Thomson appointment for Euro 2012.
UPDATE: John Fleming, Scottish referee boss is delighted: “Firstly, I am absolutely delighted for Craig. He is a tremendously hard-working referee and this is great news for all referees in this country.”

Carlos Velasco Carballo from Spain is very happy with his appointment.

“For me, the choice of UEFA and the possibility of being in the Euro Ukraine and Poland is a very special emotion and above all, a dream come true.”

Howard Webb completes the list of twelve. A picture of him got uploaded on long before the list was online, but until the final list was published there was still some doubt among British people on Twitter wether Martin Atkinson would be chosen from the UK.
UPDATE: British FA congratulates mr. Webb with some words of David Elleray, Chairman of The FA’s Referees Committee: “We are delighted that following the Champions League Final and World Cup Final appointments, Howard has once again been appointed to a major international tournament.”