I knew that something stupid will happen on Friday the 13th.
As every year, the international organization IFFHS (potentially stands for: I = irrealistic, FF = flight of fancy, H = hypocritical, S = superfluous) has made us the gift of seemingly representative rankings concerning different aspects. According to own information, the IFFHS is joined by 200 football experts coming from 120 different countries. At the end of a year, these experts give their opinions so that the organization based in Germany can then convert this into awards and rankings. This counts for referee rankings as well.
IFFHS has today published that - from its members' point of view - Viktor Kassai was the best referee in the last year 2011. Having refereed the probably best Champions-League final for a few years, the Hungarian has confirmed his performances at 2010 FIFA World Cup in 2011 as well. The question is whether Kassai and especially Webb have kind of raison d'être in these regions of the ranking as long as the Uzbek Irmatov is only the no.3.
The full ranking:
1. Viktor Kassai (HUN), 2. Howard Webb (ENG), 3. Ravshan Irmatov (UZB), 4. Wolfgang Stark (GER), 5. Frank de Bleeckere (BEL), 6. Massimo Busacca (SUI) and Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP), 8. Nicola Rizzoli (ITA), 9. Jorge Larrionda (URU), 10. Sálvio Fagundes (BRA), 11. Felix Brych (GER), 12. Sergio Pezzotta (ARG), 13. Joel Aguilar (SLV), Carlos Amarilla (PAR), Hector Baldassi (ARG), Yuichi Nishimura (JPN), 17. Martin Atkinson (ENG), 18. Pedro Proenca (POR), Björn Kuipers (NED), Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP), 21. Olegário Benquerenca (POR), Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)
I am still wondering how and whereby the IFFHS has come to this list. Coffee cup reading? The "alea-iacta-est" principle? Probably something like that.
I recommend IFFHS - as New Year's resolutions - to observe more attentively, perhaps we will be able to take their ranking seriously next time, as long as this organization will not broaden its horizon and knowledge, the title of "The World's Best Referee" should stay being merely a marginal note.
As counterpart, the community of this blog has elected their best referees of the last year. Our initial impression that our ranking will be closer to reality than IFFHS's has unfolded to have not been thus absurd..