‘The colour of Eriksson’s hair makes Holland win’

Netherlands has a good chance to beat Germany at tonight’s Euro 2012 clash in group B. At least, if we base our conclusions on referee’s hair stats of previous matches between the two teams.

Dutch graphic design student Bart Corré analysed all previous 38 matches between the two teams for his graduation thesis (pdf). Germany scored 56 points in them, Holland 44. The Netherlands will also not win based on the nationality of the referee: both teams scored totally 7 points each with a Swedish referee. Tonight’s referee is Jonas Eriksson and this important clash in group B is his first match of the tournament.

It’s also not the colour of the referee’s shirt which makes Holland win. Actually, the Germans have won more games (out of 35) with a man in black on the pitch. It’s not the age of Eriksson, who became 38 years old on the 28th of March this year. The average age of referees in matches Holland won is 42.

None of that all. It’s the colour of the referee’s hair which ‘proves’ that Holland is going to win. Eriksson’s brown hair should bring my country some luck. Germany has just won 4 out of 14 matches with a brown-haired referee, compared to six victories for The Netherlands. That’s the best Holland can rely on, or maybe their quality will do …

Photo description: Orange dot means Dutch victory. Black dot means German victory. Grey dot means draw. Variable: hair colour of the referee.

Some other remarkable stats:
– Holland has never won with a bald referee.
– Holland vs. Germany 24 – 16 (in yellow cards)
– Holland vs. Germany 3 – 1 (in red cards)
– England has the most referees with a match between Germany and Holland, resulting in 9 points for Holland and 15 for Germany.

Curious hand ball situation in Women’s World Cup

It took at least three seconds. A player from Equatorial Guinea caught the ball in her hand after it bounced from the bar. Australian opponents during the Women’s World Cup matches protested, but the game went on.

Referee Gyoengyi Gaal from Hungary completely  missed the incident and let the game continue. “What a curious situation”, was the reaction of the German football commentator. Watch it yourself below:

Fifa is blocking all video material about the match (not because of handball, but media rights). So if the link below doesn’t work, check the summary on Fifa’s website (embedding is impossible, as far as I know).

German refs want chip in ball, no extra assistants

The German refereeing remains very critically about the experiment with extra assistants who watch the goal line. They made a statement after a national referee meeting that they prefer a chip in the ball.

Herbert Fandel in an advert asking for more referees. Advert by German FA (DFB).

“A condition is, however, that such a system works one hundred percent correct”, said Herbert Fandel, the new chairman of the German Referee Committee, after the meeting. UEFA recently announced that they will use extra assistants in next season’s Champions League.

The referee boss criticized the hard tackles during the World Cup in South Africa. “Especially the slide tackle with the soles towards the enemy, which we have seen more frequent in the World Cup, will be penalized in a consistant way.”

Are the German refs ready for next season? Fandel: “The mood among our referees is first class, everyone is looking forward to the new season. And all are very well prepared ”

Fandel stressed that the German refs need to remain themselves, as we all are unique in our refereeing style. “There is no template for our referees, each one has its own way of officiating, everyone must remain authentic.” But he expects his refereeing team to be self-assured. “Referees are leaders. It can not be that someone wants to demonstrate authority with [giving] cards. Personality is crucial.”

Impressive career of a Canadian assistant referee

Héctor Vergara (Canada) is the most experienced World Cup assistant referee with 14 matches in three different World Cups. His last match at a big tournament was last Saturday, when he, Marvin Torrentera and Armando Archundia took charge of the third place final. The Dutch Referee blog spoke with him.

Role: Assistant Referee
Country: Canada
Date of Birth: 15.12.1966
Height: 183 cm
First international: Canada-Northern Ireland (22.05.1995)

At the 2002 World Cup referees and assistants were not working in trio’s who worked together the whole tournament. Vergara worked with Collina, Ramos-Rizzo, Hall (2), Aquina and the third place final with Mane. In 2002 he worked with Archundia, with whom he started his international career in 1993 in the U17 World Cup in Japan. After the 2010 World Cup they finished together, after 18 international years, with a superb match (IMO).

Héctor Vergara (middle) when he received a medal after the third place final at the World Cup 2010 in South Africa. Photo provided by Héctor Vergara’s blog

Saturday you officiated in the match between germany and uruguay. It was your 14th match as an assistant referee at a World Cup. A record. What does that mean to you?
Héctor Vergara: “Having this ‘record’, which one day someone will break, is just a reflection of the successful career I had as a Fifa official. all the medals I have received in the 11 tournaments I have been have a special place as they all represent the sacrifices and commitment that I have made.”

You’ve also got the third place final in Korea and Japan with Saad Mane (Kuwait). Didn’t you hope (just a little bit) for the final in at your last big tournament?
“I know that we had a real shot at doing the final of the 2010 WC, but it was not meant to be and there are many factors that played into that decision. I know that we did everything in our power to give us the opportunity but the decision was out of our hands. We stayed very focused and truly enjoyed and had a great 3rd/4th place final.”

After the match Vergara wrote a nice blog about his last match. His experiece of Germany versus Uruguay: “What a game!!!! Lots of goals, lots of action, great atmosphere, rain, tears of joy, fun, pride, excitement and a great performance by our team.” If you didn’t follow his WC blog, please visit the Manitoba Soccer Blog .

How did you experience this world cup and what’s your fondest memory?
“This WC was a bit different for me because there were many things that happened that just did not seemed right – but those things were out of our control so we just moved on. We had very good games, enjoyed them and the challenge and finished on a high note. The fondest memory was the final game because it was a great game and we finished our WC career on a high note.”

Armando Archundia, Héctor Vergara and Marvin Torrentera, visiting the Paraguay – Japan match. Photo provided by Héctor Vergara’s blog

This was your last big tournament. Do you stop international refereeing now or are you giving it all for one more year?
“I don’t know as of yet. It will be a discussion that I have with my family and it will be well thought out.”

What’s the most beautiful match in your career and why?
“I had many but if i had to choose one it may be the last one on saturday – simply because it was such a great game and we worked so well together that it allowed us to go out on top and show the world the quality of our officiating.”

Is there a message you want to give to my blog readers (f.e. about most important things for you in refereeing, on what ever level that may be)?

“For me learning the basics of refereeing and the simple things on and off the field are very critical for a successful career. Working about what you can control and constantly working at improving your game no matter what level you are at is very important.”