December 6, 2011

Another flight of fancy of the senile Swiss..

The controversial Swiss FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter has made another effort to emphasize the importance and urgency of professional referees at World Cups. In an interview with the German tabloid press "Bild", he has again strengthened his recent announcement that merely professional referees will be nominated by FIFA for the World Cup in Brazil in 2014. He has however encounted strong resistance - among the German refereeing heads as well.

As no FIFA referee in e.g. Germany is professional referee, this initiative could open several conflicts with the respective federations.
According to Blatter, referees have to solely focus on their matches and activity as referee in order to not incur social uncertainties.
A strange piece of argumentation, even Herbert Fandel has his doubts on the new brainwave of Blatter. He stressed that by having a second pillar in their lives, "referees would be better able to cope with mistakes and the pressure which is available in modern football". Furthermore, he exposed the statement that "it was the professional referees who disappointed the worldwide refereeing at the last World Cup". In addition to this, Fandel said that "the question of whether a referee is suitable for a World Cup did not depend on a referee solely concentrating on refereeing, but on how good he was".

Another announcement was made by Blatter. After a longstanding dilatoriness on the part of the FIFA concerning technical aids for referees, he has stressed that he saw the advantages of a goalline-camera which is supposed to be installed for the next World Cup. 

Well, after all, three things have to be said.
On the one hand, it is certainly a good development that referees are not left in the lurch by FIFA concerning technical aids. It is the right step, but some doubts are raised around me whether especially this technique is the right one. Who will evaluate whether the ball has crossed the line with every millimetre? Certainly a point which could be clarified by the FA if they install this technique in the Premier League for 2012/13.
On the other hand, I do not see where the advantage is supposed to be when insetting professional referees in certain matches. They are only humans, like all other referees, everyone can make mistakes. He should not try to huggermugger the wrong appointments FIFA made for the WC 2010 and the extra-ordinary high pressure the officials had to cope with because of the FIFA. Changing a word in front of "referee" will not do much in my opinion. The funniest moment when I personally read his article was the statement that the "...French refereeing [is doing] it right..."...Really no comment needed to my mind.

Finally, I do not think that Blatter is right when thinking that he has to say something in the field of refereeing. Perhaps, he should follow the words of his publicist (0:08)



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