July 8, 2014

Cüneyt Çakir will oversee Netherlands - Argentina

FIFA's Refereeing Department has chosen Cüneyt Cakir and his team to take control over Match 62, the semifinal between the Netherlands and Argentina in São Paulo. Jonas Eriksson and Mathias Klasenius have been selected as fourth and fifth official respectively.



SEMIFINALS, Match 62
09 July 2014, 22:00 CET
Arena Corinthians, São Paulo
NETHERLANDS - ARGENTINA
Referee: Cüneyt ÇAKIR (TUR) 
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin DURAN (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarik ONGUN (TUR)
Fourth Official: Jonas ERIKSSON (SWE)
Standby Assistant Referee: Mathias KLASENIUS (SWE)
Blog Referee Observer: Niclas (GER)

176 Comments:

  1. Whats everyone's list for the final now? I see it as Webb, Geiger, Eriksson, and Irmatov.

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  2. Expected and well deserved!

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    1. what is well deserved? Cakir did one crucial mistake in the Algeria-Russia match, the freekick before the Algeria goal was never a foul.

      van persie, ManUtd-fans around the world and future-United-coach van Gaal hate Cakir because for his disgraceful performance (Nani red card) in Sir Alex Fergusons last champions league match as Utd-coach against Real Madrid in 2013.

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    2. Hello Alan,

      the Russian foul before the Algerian goal was very clear. see: http://www.vidup.de/v/NlVQ7/ (sorry for the Quality)

      If this is not a foul what else is?

      About Nanis Red card, see:

      http://www.whoateallthepies.tv/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/ib2BsbUFyoZpqQ.gif

      Need i say more? Dangerous play at its best.

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    3. Oh yes, Alan, let's start listening to Alex Ferguson for honest, balanced feedback on referees ;)

      If one referee has been performing honestly and consistently at this tournament, it is Cakir. No spectacular matches, but no blunders either. He is reliable and FIFA know what to expect from him.

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    4. He quite clearly made a big error in the Real Madrid vs United game with that red card. Which has cost him severely in terms of UEFA assignments since then.

      This is the most high profile game he is doing since then actually.

      But he has been good in this tournament and didn't send off Daniel Alves or even caution him for a similar collision/Challenge where his studs went into midriff during Brazil vs Mexico game around the 15th minute mark. And nobody noticed.

      Ignoring his past mistakes and penchant to be the center of attention as a referee going off this tournament and assuming he has learned his lesson this is a Deserved appointment.

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    5. I really don't know where some people take the info or belief from that this red card in Manchester was a "big error". This match is more than 1 year ago and still this seems to be common thinking. UEFA left both options only and instructed to issue either a YC or RC in such situations, depending on the assessment and opinion of the referee. So technically this was never an error. His destiny was that the media thought differently and a lot of trouble in the aftermath was created. That was what kept him away from further UEFA matches but not this mistake itself.

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    6. I couldn't agree more with Niklas.

      The Nani RC is acceptable in my eyes. I can't understand why people still think this was a mistake. He was unlucky that this RC combined with MU comments after the match received too much media attention.

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    7. Totally justified RC. Reckless challenge, clearly endagering the opponent.

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    8. You surely mean serious foul play, Howard :)

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    9. Oh come on guys, you can try and justifying the worst of unrequired decisions based on technicalities like this.

      But the thing is including the opposition coach/Players (Mourinho no less) and the whole footballing community including Maradona to Cruyff to Xavi called it a Horrendous decision.

      Play was about to carry on and no one expected much or complaining as such, and then he goes and produces a Red to the surprise of even Real players. Such stupidity in a Big game.

      You may now in hindsight try and justify it based on this or that, but the fact of the matter is that Red card doesn't get given 95% of the time. As i said go back and Watch Alves challenge in Brazil vs Mexico game where the mexico player showed Cakir cleat marks too on his torso.

      No card given and everyone carried on. Now Cakir could have gone and played hero there too and issued a red and some here would have tried justifying it saying dangerous play/hurt player see this angle of pic and what not.

      But he wold have been axed from this tournament too. Infact he didn't even issue red for a way worse tackle from David Luiz and has refereed this tournament as if he has learned his lesson.

      Let's just hope he doesn't spoil the semi final without using common sense, as he has a reputation of being center of attention too much even in turkey.

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    10. We all make errors. And this is a RC according to the rules. And this won't change even if everybody in the stadium or in the news says otherwise.
      @Niclas: Sure, SFP. Did I say something else?

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    11. Actually that decision which most of the football community including turkish officials and UEFA indirectly accepted as wrong puts Cakir in a tight spot this game too. As players know his past and will want red card for every high boot that makes contact with the opposition player. There has been 0 for that so far this tournament to illustrate my point above again. Infact barely any yellows too despite many many accidental collisions to that affect. (Giroud on Swiss player being prominent example out of many many that nobody noticed specifically.)

      Will be interesting as this is the most high profile match he is doing after that ill fated game which was also Alex Ferguson's last CL game incidentally.

      Media has already started playing up Cakir's past history and comments made about him by Van Persie etc...

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    12. @Howard Maxi - Agreed everyone makes mistake but need to accept it was a mistake is my point.

      Collina was the observer for that game at Old Trafford, btw and Cakir's assignments in UEFA after that where he was mostly blanked out that season and even last season didn't count among the top referees doing big games showed that he also probably disagreed with it as he is also the head of Referees for UEFA.

      Using common sense as a referee at that level is essential too. Or based on technicalities which i can fully justify he could have produced 2 more red cards atleast that same game especially one for the player who took out the GK and one for the GK who punched Vidic was it right in the face missing the ball in much more SFP knocking him out cold for a whole but even that never gets given in practicality.

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    13. So what do you want? Should Cakir retire because he made one controversial (albeit correct) decision in his career? It is complete nonsense to bring up this red card here. Cakir was trusted with Europa League semi finals last season and was fourth official in the Champions' League final, both of which are among the highest appointments available in Europe.
      Everyone has moved on beyond the Nani incident, except you two, it seems. By the way, Alan, your darling Howard Webb failed to give a red card for a much more severe kick in 2010; does that make him an awful referee? :)

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    14. Don't club me with anyone else.

      I already said Cakir has been one of the best referees this tournament along with 3/4 others so this is a deserved appointment. And it appears seeing his officiating that he has learned his lesson too.


      He made unneeded mistake of commission in a high profile game, got punished for it bit like Nishimura this WC who has been 4th a lot too or sitting at the hotel while some inferior ones get many more games. (i think he is otherwise a good referee as well and would have gotten a semi or even final with 2 solid games.)

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    15. @ Howard Maxi: You said Red Card and Reckless Challenge in one sentence which is contradictory ;)

      @ Cevno: http://www.directupload.net/file/d/3677/5ts2ntvd_jpg.htm
      UEFA's official analysis of this situation. Of course he was backed by Collina for this brave sending-off, but as said, UEFA also recommends a yellow card if, in the opinion of the referee, the spirit of the game allows it. So neither YC nor RC are wrong decisions. What happened later is a different story. You now have the opportunity to accept that and finish this discussion or to tell UEFA they instruct their referees wrongly even after seeing this foul several times after the match. Cakir was protected after Old Trafford, not punished, try to understand that please. It is a complete causal difference even though the symptoms were the same (= he was off the whole season after OT).

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    16. Oh, indeed. I mean that it endangers the opponent, as said in your file.

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    17. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/worldcup2014/article-2684124/Robin-van-Persie-meet-referee-Cuneyt-Cakir-World-Cup-semi-final-just-year-calling-Turkish-official-unknown.html

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  3. Rizzoli if BRA and/or ARG make it.
    Webb for GER-NED despite 2010.

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  4. I think Irmatov whistles for the final.

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  5. ARG has already vetoed Irmatov...
    NED has issues with Webb.
    I guess Rizzoli is now the front runner.

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  6. I have a feeling that Proença will be the final ref ;)

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  7. Im sure Nishimura will get another game. That's why they kept him.

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  8. Nishimura surely can't officiate another game, especially after his blunder in the opening game in favour of Brazil. I can't see Webb getting a 2nd final in a row and as regardless of Argentinian feelings, Irmatov surely won't officiate a FIFTH game at this World Cup.

    I genuinely thought Webb would get a semi-final, and Cakir in the final, but now Cakir has a SF, I'm going to go with Eriksson or Rizzoli.

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  9. Expect the unexpected. Webb to make history. Nishamura for 3rd place play off. Agree if the final is all European Webbs chances are very strong. Rizzoli doesn't have strong enough card management for either an all European final or COMEBOL final.

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  10. OT: apparently, the vanishing spray will be used in the CL, next season:

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11661/9375095

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  11. Congratulations to Cuneyt Cakir. I was hoping him to get the final but this is a good achievement for his first world cup.
    Rizzoli and Eriksson are front runners for the final, I also believe Irmatov, Hamouidi and Geiger might have a chance. Under this circumstance I would go for Eriksson...

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    1. Eriksson is the 4th Official for this game. If Eriksson is selected for final than i predict Cuneyt Cakir will be the 4th officiial.

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  12. FIFA have rejected suggestions that referees have been told not to hand out red and yellow cards in order to provide a more entertaining World Cup.

    The spotlight has moved away from the players and onto the referees following Brazil’s bruising quarter-final clash with Colombia, during which Brazil striker Neymar suffered a tournament-ending back injury.

    A tournament-high 54 fouls were committed during the game and Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo has faced heavy criticism for allowing 41 unfair challenges to take place before issuing a yellow card.

    German newspaper Bild reported that FIFA referees chief Massimo Busacca had told officials to limit cards in order to improve the spectacle, provoking an angry response from FIFA's chief spokesman Walter De Gregorio.

    "(The allegation) that there is a secret plan not to sanction with yellow or red cards, maybe risking or tolerating that players are injured, this is just unacceptable," De Gregorio said. "We cannot accept that there is a hidden plan from FIFA."

    Brazil’s total of 31 fouls committed during the game with Colombia is their highest in a World Cup match since records began in 1966.

    The number of yellow cards during the course of the tournament averages 2.8 per match compared to 3.8 in 2010 and 4.8 in 2006.

    "This is part of the game and we accept that," De Gregorio said. "But what we can't accept is the question on an ethical level, that there is a hidden plan from FIFA.

    "This goes into the core business - protecting the main actors, the players, it's the most important thing we have to do at FIFA," De Gregorio said.

    "We have to protect the players. If Neymar isn't playing the semi-final or the final it's not good for us too."

    source: skysports.com

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    1. Well we have been knowing this since the start of the tournament. FIFA denies that the earth is not flat. But of course they have to do so.

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  13. Please stop to predict Webb for the final!!!

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    1. Would you care to explain why?
      Webb is by far the best of the lot, he deserves it. Will Busacca & FIFA have the guts to step over this unwritten law denying a referee two successive finals? On the other hand I might concur that based on politics only we should count him out if ARG beat NED (ARG would never accept someone from ENG...).

      If not Webb, well, heart and reason diverge here:
      -) I would like it to go to my compatriot Rizzoli, but it looks a bit far-fetched (and maybe not 100% deserved based on performance in this WC only) especially if ARG reach the final, it would be his third ARG match in four appointments.
      -) Reason then: ...Geiger!

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  14. I would prefer Cakir for the fnal.

    But now I believe it will either be Irmatov or Rizzoli.

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  15. I agree with Edward. For me Rizzoli is the most obvious choice now. He suits perfectly to GER-NED, BRA-NED and would be even accepted by ARG in case of GER-ARG or BRA-ARG.

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  16. I dont understand, teams can object on ref appointment? Why? For every match or just once on the tournament?

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    1. I cannot say much, I don't want to get into legal trouble. In principle for every match (but some federations are stronger than others) and that even started during the intercontinental play-offs.

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    2. Is this merely a FIFA thing or this is also happening in, for instance, CL and EL? Or does UEFA care less about which referee the teams want?

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    3. In UEFA, the committee acts completely independent.

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  17. Thx for the Williams and Rizolli reports. The link for the Geiger report is a dead on though.

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  18. But if ARG arrives in final, if Rizzoli will be appointed it will be the third time for him with Argentina. Whereas Irmatov could suffer the veto from Argentina. Who could Busacca appoint in this case?

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  19. some thoughts from a rugby assessor / appointment secretary

    - in rugby ALL referees are considered neutral and available for appointment for any game
    - in Internationals there will be a neutral referee for the game from the non playing nations
    - at levels below internationals (eg Heineken Cup - Southern Super Rugby) referees regularly are appointed where one/both of the sides come from his country
    - should anyone dare to question an appointment they are told where to go quickly!! in fact the President of one club complained about a certain referee - guess who was appointed to their next game (important semi-final) - rugby referees seem to have more backing from the powers that be!
    - I appoint referees for a National league with referees / clubs from 10 different areas and I appoint whoever / wherever - obviously towards the end of the season with promotion / relegation issues some extra thoughts will be considered

    So after reading the comments on this forum over the past month - I would humbly suggest that people are paying far too much attention to odd mistakes (usually the fault of an AR anyway) rather than the other 89 minutes - I watch rugby Internationals etc on TV and with the benefit of the replays can see mistakes in every game - does this make the referee poor - of course not - mistakes will happen in every game with every referee/umpire - what has to considered is the whole game!!

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    1. Thank you for this insight into rugby. FIFA can learn so much from sports like hockey and rugby, but it looks like, they think, they're the most important body on earth.

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  20. Well deserved!

    I honestly hope that we will see Haimoudi in the final. I would have no problem with him being appointed in the final and I don't think anyone would reject him. Don't you think?

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  21. OT: I remember 2002 was a terrible WC for referees. Who were the referees that did well? I remember Collina, Meier, Nielsen. And then?

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    1. I remember Byron Aldemar Moreno Ruales. ;-)

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    2. Carlos Batres (GUA), Anders Frisk (SWE), Markus Merk (GER) and Felipe de Jesus Ramos Rizo (MEX).

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    3. Missed the Frings handball in the quarterfinale Germany vs USA.

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    4. It was indeed the WORST WC for refereeing. FIFA was forced to appoint 2 UEFA referees at the SF after the SCANDALOUS qualification of S.Korea against Spain.

      Collina was the top referee even though he took only 3 matches.

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  22. Two questions for Niclas: is it possible to know the marks for Rizzoli's third match and Irmatov's 2nd and 4th matches in order to have an idea about these two, probably most likely candidates for final? And what is your idea about the final referees, e.g. Webb for 3rd place?
    Anyway, everyone could reply! ;)

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    1. A short glance at "our" average marks proves that the logics applied by FIFA and this blog do not correlate: Nicola Rizzoli got the worst mark here for his first match (Spain - Netherlands) but is considered (one of the) best by Massimo Busacca whereas Bakary Gassama got the best mark for his first assignment (Netherlands - Chile) but was sent home after this sole match.

      The short list of the remaining 15 referee teams shows that they were selected with regard to their FIFA standing PRIOR to the World Cup: It contains all referees with final experience in FIFA tournaments (Geiger and Rodriguez but not Aguilar; Irmatov and Nishimura but not Shukralla and WIlliams) or - in confederations with no such candidates - follows the same structure on a continental level.

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  23. It was said that if Brasil hadn't gone in final, Ricci could have been the referee for that match. But, after a 1-7 is it still likely? FIFA could appoint for Germany's final a referee from the same nationality they humiliated?
    And another question. What do you think about Argentina's veto against Irmatov? Is it likely, is it a tactic, or FIFA will force and appoint for final the referee they want?

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  24. Some thoughts from the rugby corner!! having seen most of the games
    referees who have impressed me the most - Kuipers/Pitana (sent home!) - Rizzoli (referees with a smile, which always helps good management) - Erricson (totally consistent) - Webb (no 2nd final chance though) - Cakir / Rodrigues (semi finals) - haimoudi / proenca / Geiger (ok but behind the others

    my choice would be Erikson - has an appearance on the field without being over bearing and is consistent - followed closely by Rizzoli

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  25. I have read your reports, great reports for Aguilqr no crucial mistakes, no even mistakes. Any idea why he was sent home? Injury, sickness, or FIFA saw sth we did not?

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    1. He sent off a player in first half....
      Perhaps this was enough for Busacca! :)

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    2. I think FIFA is using a much bigger picture than making judgements on such a small number of games. Aguilar was clearly the #3 ref in CONCACAF coming into the World Cup. Rodriguez and Gieger had good World Cups so the overall picture didn't change.

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  26. OT: Anybody here from Hungary? Is there any shop in Budapest where I can by referee equipment?

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    1. Although not from Hungary, here is the online shop:
      http://www.uzlet.pmlszjb.hu/

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  27. Incorrect offside by AR1 at 32'. Otherwise good game by Cakir so far.

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    1. Sorry, just rewatched it and concluded that I am full of nonsense. It was a correct offside.

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  28. It seems to me that team Cakir isn't using an electronic flag system. Can anyone confirm this? Why don't they use it?

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  29. Overall impression about first half.
    Cakir joined the pitch very concentrated. He also overruled AR1 assigning a goal kick (it wasn't indeed a corner). He had a good foul detection and an excellent player management. Smiling and talking to players. Full control. This is what I want to see by a top class referee. Then we can discuss about cards, Busacca instructions and so on. But Cakir had a very, very good first half in my opinion, as for attention and management on the field. The YC in the last minute was absolutely spot on.
    Please try to compare this first half with Brazil-Colombia...

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    1. Better, but for my liking the first foul on Sneijder was a YC.

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    2. Good first half, yes, but In my opinion his strategical disciplinary approach did not work. His increasing line with silent and public warnings worked fine, but in 42-43 he should have definitely stopped smiling and become more energetic. The most harmless foul of all was enough for the first YC, ok, strictly considered it was SPA and again NED #4, but his whole approach suffered in logic and autheticity by this YC (it should have maybe come earlier or avoided in 45').

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    3. Yes, good first half by Cakir. However this card policy at the WC has made me sick. I am already looking forward to the new UEFA season!!!

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  30. I hope we won't be forced to watch this card policy anymore after 2014 FIFA WC!

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    1. I share this hope. Oh, how I share it. I need to watch some good ol' games with strict card policy after this WC!

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    2. I watched Polish Supercup today and apart many controversies in this game, it was very refreshing to see bookable offences punished by yellow cards! This WC refereeing is really sh*t. And again, nothing against referees, the other persons are to blame...

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    3. Dear Howard and Hubert (2x Hubert ;)), I share your feelings about these YC instructions and am quite frustrated and angry, I am sure every normal referee feels so or similar having watched 62 matches with this mostly misinterpreted strategy and failed instructions.
      But I would like to remind you that we don't move in a black or white sports or have an ideological fight between two perceptions of refereeing. Not booking bookable offences (bookable does not mean that it MUST be a booking) can work in some matches if the referee knows how to apply it and has the necessary personality and management abilities (above all soft skills). So my thought is that we don't have to think in extremes but combining both approaches is imo the ideal. Use your personality as long as possible but don't shy away from cautioning players if needed. Above all, as instructors, let every referee selected use his own style that made him succeed.

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  31. Aguero not booked for the same infringement against keeper made by Thiago Silva...

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    1. He should have been booked.

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    2. It's a uniformity and consistency Busacca talked about. ;)

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  32. A good and stable performance so far by AR2. As for what I have seen many good calls. However, AR1 seems to have problems keeping up with the 2nd last defender. This recently resulted in an incorrect offside at 75'.

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  33. Great offside call on 90+3 by AR2...

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  34. Did Sneijder try to hit Cakir?

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    1. I was thinking the exact same thing! It seemed like Sneijder was tapping/pushing the back of Cakir after leaving the situation of the rejected free kick (102'). But perhaps the camera angle only made it look like that. I haven't found a replay yet to assess the situation.

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  35. I think he was doing what huntelaar did (waving arm to protest) before he got the card. But Sneijder didn't have the balls to do it in his face.

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  36. Is 1 minute of added time a joke?

    Sneijder should've been booked for dissent at least twice...

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  37. Now it should be Rizzoli for Maracana by 99,9%.

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    1. Two undeserved (taking into account performance principle) finals? Of course, just my opinion :)

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  38. I suspect Eriksson the favorite.

    With Geiger/Rizzoli/Irmatov below.

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    1. Irmatov has no chance. ARG 0-4 GER (WC 2010) avoids it. Rizzoli is the no.1 and maybe, who knows, this could be more than a prediction.

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    2. Collina and Busacca - of course, Italian names have no impact on this ;)

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    3. Yes, but why Busacca chose Rodriguez for BRA-GER? He could have appointed Irmatov there. Niclas, do you know sth more about Baldassi's rumor? However, I will be happy for Rizzoli, but I think it's quite difficult. Proenca?

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    4. Indeed, Italian names have no impact on that. Busacca and Collina are disagreeing on practically everything. There is no colaboration of political nature to make Rizzoli get the final, if you mean that.

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  39. We should consider that for geopolitics (and also for Blatter) it's fundamental to give importance to AFC. So, 4 years ago Irmatov in semifinal. And now?

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  40. I just realized that Robben is ALWAYS playing with tape on his right ring finger. Apparently he is very creative, matching the color of the tape with his shirt for every match.

    Image1
    and then I found this:
    Image2

    "Using tape to cover jewellery is not acceptable."

    Fun fact: In Denmark, you are allowed to play with a "flat" wedding ring (or similar), as long as the referee doesn’t consider it to be dangerous.

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    1. The "Image1" and "Image2" above are clickable links btw (if it should not be clear to anyone).

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  41. iimposible Irmatov already rejected once Argentina ...
    with Busacca command is sure rizzoli .. Italia ..

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  42. Argentina - Germany
    Rizzoli 65%
    Geiger 35%
    Codesal 0%

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  43. the Zabaleta-injury-interruption in extra-time took over 3 minutes and Cakir give only one ridiculous minute additional time. so stupid from him and Eriksson.
    and then also missed a clear yellow card in first half, after a very hard foul from Demichelis on Sneijder.

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    1. Where are your positive points of the performance?

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    2. But Alan's points are 100% correct. No need to make a full report in every comment regarding one performance.

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    3. It seems to me that Alan really didn't like Cakir's performance? I thought he did very well. (Except card management) I do agree that he missed some clear YCs and the additional time should have been more. But overall, I did like his performance, especially his player management. He smiled a lot which is good for this kind of matches.

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    4. Indeed, and no need to make one comment with only negative points. Reducing a performance to negative elements only creates a certain bias. I cannot blame some users who call us armchair observers for this reason. Reading comments that only target at seeking missed cards or highlighting bad moments has annoyed me during this WC. Observing means finding positive elements and areas for consideration. That's all I want to promote.
      The performance was good, the match was well controlled, his foul selection, calm personality and cooperation in the team were principally good. Disciplinary control, energy in body language, reaction to dissent and anticipative movement were areas for consideration from my point of view.

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    5. And as you are entitled to highlight those positive aspects, other people may mention the negative ones... I can't see nothing wrong in pointing it out. We're not in a diplomatic panel where every statement should be deeply analysed, it's a blog where everyone could share his feelings in a normal way. Points mentioned by Alan hit the nail and he shouldn't be forced to write a full report with all positives and negatives when just wants to say about important aspects from his point of view. More tolerance.

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    6. Hubert, please don't forget that I am running this blog as the owner and define the level of comments that are appreciated on this site. Therefore I would be happy if we read many comments with balanced analyses not to bias the overall picture in one way or the other. I am afraid that otherwise our comments-section could be perceived as either a not justified adulation or unidimensionally negative criticism on referees. More balance - this would be my motto which contributes to better refereeing.
      I appreciate your comments a lot and agree with Alan's and your points for improvement by 120%, we do not disagree on a contents-level at all.

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    7. In a previous comment, Alan questioned whether Cakir deserved the appointment or not. With this performance Cakir showed exactly that he deserves it. I congratulate him for his good performance and I believe his status in FIFA as well as UEFA will rise.

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    8. Niclas, I support you 100% on this matter. Last week I was also tired of reading primarily harsh negative comments with a complete lack of analytic approach. Very often put forward in a somewhat, in my opinion, disrespectful way to the referees, with the only objective to shout at the referees. If one would really waste time reading such, I think you can just go to a random football fan forum. Or make your own forum and invite a lot of Portuguese guys (with our experiences of "Anonymous" comments in mind) - and yes, I was being funny right here ;)

      What in my opinion makes this blog so great is the respectful understanding of the referee and the challenges he faces (and of course knowledge on the LoTG). This facilitates good analyses on the referees and their decisions and approaches. Also to be considered constructive in a way, as you get a balanced analysis instead of just someone shouting bad, wrong etc. Because honestly, referees at the highest international level are not just "bad" or "wrong". A performance of a referee is much more complex than that. And that is what makes it interesting. At least to me.

      So even though I kind of left the idea of writing my point of view last week (because I didn't want to sound like a grumpy old man), I just thought that I would write it now as you just brought it up. And thank you for that.

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  44. Rizzoli getting Argentina 3 times in one tournament? Has that happened before?

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    1. Well as far as we know, Sandro Ricci would have got the final if Argentina had not qualified for it. This would have meant that he would have had Germany three times. This also happened at U17 WC 2011 when Garcia took charge of 3 BRA games. It seems to be possible since 2011.

      Irmatov was ruled out by Argentine's committee representative due to the negative result back in 2010. I hardly believe they would now accept him for a remake against Germany...Rizzoli is the clear no.1 if politics rule the appointment. Haimoudi could be a candidate for the 3rd place final.

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    2. In your opinion does that veto really exist?

      Delete
    3. What does "opinion" mean? I would not start such a rumour if it was only my opinion.

      Delete
    4. More directly... Do you think does the veto exist?

      Delete
    5. Diverse sources told us so. So we know it.

      Delete
    6. I am astonished that Sandro Ricci should have got the final in the case the Netherlands had reached it:

      - Germany eliminated Brazil in the semi-final.
      - Sandro Ricci has been an international referee only since 2011.
      - He was Brazil's number 3 behind Wilson Seneme and Heber Lopes one year ago.

      I really appreciated his performances during this World Cup but such a carreer seems a bit (too) steep.

      Delete
  45. Interesting article in The Star:
    http://www.thestar.co.uk/sport/football/falklands-issue-could-end-webb-s-world-cup-1-6719623

    Webb is probably out due to politics and favourite is Ravshan Irmatov, what would make sense taking into account two Argentina's games Rizzoli refereed during this WC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The big question is the veto against Irmatov. If that exists, Irmatov is out. Otherwise he will be the referee. And also we should consider how strong that veto is.

      Delete
  46. My guess based on reason and FA neutrality: Geiger for the big final, Doue for the small one.
    My personal wish: Rizzoli for the big one.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Referees who handled Germany in this WC:
    Mazic, Ricci, Irmatov, Ricci, Pitana, Rodriguez.

    Referees who handled Argentina in this WC:
    Aguilar, Mazic, Rizzoli, Eriksson, Rizzoli, Cakir

    5 UEFA officials for Argentina out of 6 matches. Well, I think that appointing again a UEFA official, in this case Rizzoli for the third time, would be very difficult. At least for this match, Argentina could ask for a neutral referee. In this case, Irmatov, would be the only choice. In case of confirmed veto, then Geiger could be there.
    But my final bet is the Uzbek, I see too many clues. FIFA pushed Asian officials both in 2010 and 2014. Now they must make the choice. Final for an Asian official now.. or... never?


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, about Irmatov:
      - not very good performances in this WC, especially in USA-GER
      - mistake in SUI-ECU
      - probably mistake in CRO-MEX (missed penalty after handball)
      - he refereed GER-ARG 4 years ago
      - Argentina's veto, if it exists
      + good ARs in last match
      + quite good fitness during the whole tournament (less in NED-CRC)
      + his name will respect Confederation's rule
      + avoid the 6th UEFA referee for Argentina (and also avoid to break the Confederation's rule for the 4th time in Argentina's match)
      + give the final to AFC for the first time (geopolitics)
      + clue: if Busacca had feared Argentina's veto, he would have appointed Irmatov for BRA-GER. I think Irmatov is more consider than Rodriguez.

      So, we'll see..

      Delete
  48. And my prediction for third place final is Doue.

    ReplyDelete
  49. some thoughts from the rugby corner (current a senior assessor and ex referee)

    - I am despairing of many of the comments on this web site condemning referees on the basis of a single decision that is perceived to be incorrect after many views from many angles - and much of the time is AR related - the referee has a split second to decide on his decision unlike many here can watch it many times
    - from the comments I have read, most of the referees are useless and should have been sent home - who would still be in Brazil?
    - there is no perfection that will ever be achieved in football / rugby but these 25 referees were considered to be the best by the referees department - the only complaint I have is the rule only 1 referee per country this is stupid, in rugby we have the best referees from whichever country they come from!! some of the senior playing countries have NO referees on the elite panel whilst some 3/4!
    - the one thing players want is consistency during games and from game to game - here the YC strategy, might not be agreeable to all, but has to accepted as the powers have decreed - has it been such a failure! few red cards and games finishing with 22 players still on the pitch!
    - please remember that any game of rugby / football needs 2 things for them to take place - 1 a ball - 2 some poor person to blow a whistle to start proceedings! they deserve support not the mindless criticism I have read over the past days
    - would be interesting to see some of the people here attempt to do the job or are they simply unqualified armchair critics

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From the comments I have read of you, Terry, there are valuable points including the one I discussed with Hubert above. Nonetheless, let me ask you some questions as well.

      - Have you personally followed the 25 referees with intense analysis over the last 3 or 4 years (i.e. the process of the prospective list, their development towards this World Cup)? Did you see their progress to this tournament, their individual development, strength and weaknesses?
      - Do you think it is helpful to ignore mistakes and call a performance good which had a crucial mistake deciding the qualification for the next round? Please ask players and fans how a referee, who gives a wrong penalty or red card in a decisive period of time in the game, has performed.
      - Do you think refereeing is improved by turning a blind eye on negative trends, systematical mistakes and wrong instructions by the committee (I don't even go into the topic of whether the right referees had been chosen in January 2014)? Are referees supported by not being confronted with rooms for improvement and mistakes?
      - Have you ever refereed a football match? What are your references to judge on football referee performances? Rugby is a COMPLETELY different kind of sports and requires a different refereeing approach. Things like relying on the complete impartiality in every match are nice for a marginal kind of sports but football with a global impact on media and >1 bio. people requires patterns of protecting the referees from potential medial slaughter (if I follow your idealistic line of argumentation, Ricci would be able to handle GER-ARG -- I don't want to know how Argentina's media and supporters would react in this scenario!! You see: not all that might work in rugby works in football, same goes for video replays).
      - Why are you reading a blog for many weeks which consists of unqualified armchair critics?

      Delete
    2. I am struggling to understand your point Terry.

      How is it not possible to not critisize for example the 2 mistakes of the AR in Mexico - Cameroon or the performance of Carballo at Brazil - Colombia?

      We are not talking about complex situations. Things are pretty straightforward.

      Delete
    3. many thanks for your replies - I simply thought a few comments from a different background might add to the discussions that I have enjoyed since the competition started - in my youth I did qualify as a football referee mainly for my cv as a teacher, played some sunday league football for a pub side and had to endure my son playing in various age groups where the antics of some of the parents / coaches towards the referee was simply appalling - but rugby became my game.
      my main point is that I simply feel too much is being made of the perceived individual mistakes that have been made and usually only 1 in any game - if I made one incident the sole / main topic of my report - I would be quickly asked by my boss what happened in the other 79 minutes???
      of course those who continually make mistakes or who allow the players unlimited freedom (eg the Spaniard in the Q-Final, who was the worst I have watched in my opinion) should be brought to book! but the game lasts for 90 minutes - mistakes in rugby tend to lead to tries/penalties being scored!
      I wish I could send you the report form that I have to use for your comments - if someone can tell me how will willingly do so

      one further thought at the very highest level in rugby there is a video referee who can be asked by the referee for help/guidance but also can advise the referee of a possible error/mistake and it is shown on the big screen - would not this help eradicate some of the problems - well accepted within rugby
      just a humble rugby person enjoying the comments as I feel we can all learn from each other!

      Delete
    4. For that reason Terry there are our reports. Every match is analyzed in there and not only the mistakes. Sometimes those comments come from the heat of the moment and they are completely isolated.

      Delete
    5. Edward, you're right. It would be really good if Italian newspaper could use that grid evaluation! ;)

      Delete
    6. The main point is that crucial mistakes linger in memories, and are turning points in a game. All (very good) referees commit mistakes all the time, but the best distinguish themselves by committing fewer crucial mistakes.

      As for highlighting only crucial mistakes, we do not only look at crucial decisions. If you look at our reports, they have two grades: an actual grade and, in cases of crucial mistakes, a grade without crucial. For instance, Milorad Mazic, in GER-POR, got 7.9 (8.3), which means that he did a very good game, but committed one crucial mistake. In our reports, the crucial mistakes are only one small part of the report. Look at our reports, and please show me one example of a report where most of the report concerned one crucial mistake.

      I am not sure you can qualify as excellent a referee who commits 1-2 game-changing mistakes every game. We trust referees to be reliable, but accept the fact that mistakes (even crucial) happen. Look at Howard Webb; Niclas gave him a 7.9 (8.3) in COL-CIV, yet considers him an ideal candidate for the final. We do not crucify referees for one mistake, but we are worried when there is a constant trend of crucial mistakes. If a referee commits 1-2 (or more) game-changing errors in every game (such as Clavijo, Roldan's AR), can you trust them?

      As for video, well...it is a hot topic. I am personally against, as it slows down the game and draws authority away from the referee. The referee should be respected EVEN if he commits mistakes; there should be a push towards more unconditional respect on the field, not towards more contestation. In North America, in American football, coaches have the ability to challenge referee decisions. Yes, accuracy has improved, but games now take forever as every challenged decision takes 3-4 minutes to review. And if no video evidence is forthcoming, then people will start criticising the fact that the cameras were poorly placed...Referees are not less criticised in the NFL since the introduction of video review. If anything, they are more so, as commentators will now comment on whether coaches should challenge the referees' decision.

      Delete
  50. Terry's comments are well founded and are echoed across many other sports, football tends to live in vacuum simply because of its popularity and cache.
    I've enjoyed reading this blog during the WC, the passion brought to the topic is one I share and I come from both a football and field hockey background.
    I think the comments levied at the referees here should be tempered with the knowledge that most international tournaments are tinged with trends and directives from the committees designed for a favourable viewing experience
    I think this has shown up clearly in both the leniency shown towards players in both SFP and dissent towards the officials, this having the trickle down effect of several confused performances from normally reliable referees
    I also think you give way to much weight to critical errors when both teams have the whole game to act/react to a perceived error(s), I've seen very few games were the error decides the game or has an impact on it
    I love the blog and you have a new follower!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also have discovered this blog for this World Cup and I enjoy it. Your reports are always clear, precise and I agree most of the times. Another asset is that your negative reviews are never aggressive and always correct. It's really interesting to read differents point of view about refereeing, coming from different countries. I hope that at the end the WC we can make a complete analysis about the whole referee's performances.

      Delete
  51. I agree with Terry that the rule of 1 referee per country is stupid. Only the best referees need to make it to the WC regardless of nationality. FIFA is of course a political entity and what they try to do is to share the experience with as many of their member federations as possible so that they all feel part of the WC but in my opinion you don't mess with the officiating of the games. In the list of WC refs I saw a guy from Tahiti! Are you kidding me? is he used to high pressure games? is he used to high speed matches and highly skilled divers? I think not. No disrespect to Tahiti, but they have only amateur or semi-pro football. There is nothing wrong with this of course, but we need the best refs at the WC, no exceptions.
    This brings me to the next topic that is that all of the 3 officials need to be of the same nationality. This means that a referee needs not only to be good, but also to have 2 colleagues equally good in order to get a game. Why not just get the best referees to the WC and bring also the best linesmen? I have seen some exceptions lately but in general this makes no sense to me. It is getting worse in UEFA matches because of the goal line ref, so now they need to be 5 instead of 3; a good referee needs to find 4 other guys at a good level. Nonsense.
    FIFA gets to look good and Sepp gets the votes. The same goes for the Women's World Cup, where the referees are women. This makes even less sense. Why not have the best referees period. leaving aside gender and nationality. Please don’t confuse this with being against women, surely women can be good referees too, but they are not going to get better if they are not allowed into the top matches of the top competitions and are restricted to officiate only women's matches. Women deserve better and football too. Let the best referees take charge, gender and politics aside.
    I really like the blog. Good work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm confused on a few points:
      1) The reason all referees need to be of the same nationality (if possible) is that they speak the same language and work together in national competitions. Howard Webb always works with Cann and Mullarkey, and Kuipers is always with Van Roekel and Zeinstra. Last time a mixed team was tried in Europe (Skomina with Ul and Cariolato), communication problems caused several crucial mistakes. You cannot ask referees to communicate freely in second languages. Kari Seitz mentioned in coaching that such communication problems caused huge problems at the last Women's WC.
      2) The problem of AARs seems not to have harmed Mazic, Eriksson, Skomina or other referees from smaller countries. You don't need your AARs to always be Martin Atkinson and Mark Clattenburg; you need solid officials, not necessarily elite-level referees.
      3) Are you implying that women are worse officials than men? Women referee men's games when they pass the physical standards for men. Sian Massey referees in English football; Bibiana Steinhaus has done some games in the Bundesliga, Carol-Anne Chénard refereed in the USL a few years ago, Felisha Mariscal is AR in the MLS, etc.
      4) This is a WORLD Cup. Assigning 20 UEFA referees because they are the most experienced in the World would not truly make this a world cup. Besides, Norbert Hauata notwithstanding, AFC, CAF and CONCACAF referees have nothing to be ashamed of. Geiger, Gassama, Rodriguez, Shukralla, Doue, Haimoudi all performed well. Maybe Geiger "only" referees in MLS, but he performed far better than Velasco (La Liga), Mazic (Regular in Champions' League), Proença, etc.

      Delete
    2. You totally misunderstood, allow me to explain:

      • I don't care about the nationalities or (genders), I care about quality. The officials need to be of the highest possible standard. I don't think they should bring 20 referees from UEFA, I never said that, but certainly more than one from the EPL, La Liga, Serie A and Bundesliga. The referees watch these players week in week out. Most of the players in the World Cup play in these leagues anyway. Argentina and Brazil have very good ones too, the same goes for Mexico and the USA. Referees from smaller leagues are intimidated in games where the host is a big nation like in Brazil's opening match and referees from countries with semi-pro leagues are out of place in my opinion.
      • I accept that the language barrier could be an issue, but ref from Argentina could use one AR from Mexico and one from Spain for example.
      • I don’t understand how you think I am implying that women are worse officials than men. What I am saying is the exact opposite Referees need to be of the higher possible standard and gender should not count. Anyone who meets the standard should be in the WC, but also, at the same time in the Women’s WC. FIFA is sending the message that they have 2 different standards for referees depending on the gender of the players. If any woman is good enough to referee the WC Final why not the Men’s final and vice versa. I think this affirmative action with women’s referees only hurts they chances of getting more experience. What would you think if the justice system would select the judge based on the gender of the defendant? Men will be judged by men and women by women, it’s nonsense.

      Delete
    3. So, can you imagine women playing in one team with men? If yes, what proportion should be introduced?

      It's just normal that women have other physique than men. They are not so fast in example (maybe apart from some exceptions) and therefore are not able to compete with men.

      The same counts for women referees. And if women are not able to compete with men as players, it's good to have also a partition between men and women referees, in my opinion.

      Delete
    4. I appoint the referees at a National level - I have 13 referees for 7/8 games every week - 12 male and 1 22 year old lady who is rated the best of them - shortly will be officiating at the Women's World cup in France and hopefully at the next Olympics - she is also very young for the standard she has reached - the clubs / players respect her as they know she does not take prisoners during games - at a Senior cup final recently she gave a red card after 3 minutes! there were no arguments from anyone as it was correct (it could have been said that she spoilt the final - I wonder how many of her male peers would have taken the same correct decision- not many!! - she is also blessed with a sprinter's speed having played on the wing - oh how I wish I had several more like her, she is that good in a man's environment but she has to be to survive

      Sian Massey Premier League AR is one of the best I see on TV every week- given the opportunity they will do well

      Delete
    5. Ravshan Irmatov is from Uzbekistan. Now you are not going to tell me that this referee is not good because his national league is not good enough? I don't think so. FIFA selects the referees mainly based on international matches not matches in their own league. That's why I don't agree with your comment.

      Delete
    6. I never said Uzbekistan is not good enough. Please read again. What I said was that it would be good to have more than one referee from the top leagues. Why not 2 or 3. Certainly can't hurt.

      Delete
    7. Francisco, without any doubt, your point is somehow legitimate. Though the correlation "top-league --> top-referees" has proven wrong often enough. At 2010 WC, it was Undiano and Rosetti getting extra attention due to mistakes or poorly controlled matches, in 2014 Velasco and Proenca made a mess in the KO stage. La Liga, Serie A or the Portuguese 1st division would fall into the category of these top-leagues, but their representatives at some World Cups, i.e. the referees, did not count to the best.

      Delete
  52. Please watch this from facebook (sorry no video on youtube or other sites for now):

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10154332353125137&set=vb.545465136&type=2&theater

    The first penalty missed by NED. After the save by keeper the ball is still there (nobody touched it again). Perhaps this was a regular goal, Cakir too hurry in evaluating the penalty as missed...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From the Laws of the game: "a goal is awarded if, before passing between the goalposts and under the crossbar:
      • the ball touches either or both of the goalposts and/or the crossbar and/or
      the goalkeeper
      The referee decides when a penalty kick has been completed."

      I am comfortable with the no goal here. The ball touched the keeper, reversed its motion (rebounded away from the goal), and then started rolling slowly towards the goal. We are outside of the "hits the goalie and then enters the goal" scenario. Besides, did the ball ever cross the line?

      Delete
    2. I am sorry to ruin the fun, but the Dutch player touched the ball with his right shoulder (it is very difficult to see), making the ball jump in the direction of the goal. He touches the ball when he makes that odd movement with his upper body.

      Cakir could easily have got in trouble if the ball jumped into the goal (instead of stopping at the line), and the Dutch player then refused to have touched it. What a drama it would have been. Because it would indeed have been a goal.

      An article was published some years ago where a Danish UEFA observer commented on a YouTube clip similar to that scene, and confirmed that it was a goal (supporting the referee, who also awarded the goal). I can't seem to find the article now though.

      Delete
    3. Hello Chefren,

      in this video it is difficult to see, but the Dutch player touched the ball with his shoulder. Here is a better shot where you can see it clearly:

      http://gfycat.com/accuratebackdowitcher

      Delete
  53. If you can't say something nice.....

    Very good performance in my eyes, I agree with Emil on the penalty scene, but we also have this case: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBDGmUEcHaw

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On a side note, best of luck to you, Niclas, Hagi (and all other Germans) for the final! :)

      Delete
    2. Thank you, but I can say that I will be nearly neutral in this game. :)

      Delete
  54. Some things:
    - nothing about the 3rd place match's referee?
    - it seems that final referee will be announced tomorrow at 3pm Rio de Janeiro local time.
    - Baldassi said that someone had told him that Germany wants Webb.
    - on twitter there are some tweets that said that R.Irmatov is the referee of final. Is it possible that it's already been decided?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I gues that the final referee is already decided. We are just missing the name :)

      Delete
    2. It's possible to check that tweet? Some of them are coming from Tashkent, hometown of Irmatov. And also Baldassi (!) said that he would appoint Rizzoli or Irmatov...

      Delete
    3. Maybe ODDSCHECKER knows more:
      Currently (23:18 CET) Nicola Rizzoli's rate is exactly 1.
      http://www.oddschecker.com/football/world-cup/final-referee

      Delete
    4. AS said that Irmatov is more unlikely than some hours ago and that the more probably referee is Velasco, otherwise Rizzoli or Proenca. Velasco???

      Delete
  55. Breaking penalty Vlaar rolls into the goal! Nobody notices. Cakir ? Your opinions?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43-EtYWhhAc

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vlaar touches the ball after the save, so no goal.

      Delete
  56. The only issue I really have with what appears to be the FIFA instructions to the WC referees is the amount of dissent allowed. That sends an unwanted message to the players at lower levels and will cause more issues for those of us who work those matches. None of us have ever had a perfect game and never will.
    As far as who should be on the FIFA list, get the to 20 or 25 referees from around the world, no matter the league and put them out there to call the matches as they do for the rest of the year. SFP no matter time in the match should be RC. Protect the stars who are the 22 players on the pitch.

    ReplyDelete
  57. BTW: The link for the Geiger report (FRA-NGA) leads to this page https://www.blogger.com/null. An error for sure?

    ReplyDelete
  58. Not the most reliable source. https://twitter.com/DikeyCarlos/status/487358623744815104

    ReplyDelete
  59. Also here. https://twitter.com/csarmando/status/487357465613197312

    ReplyDelete
  60. Why him?
    Here, form Tashkent, Irmatov's hometown... https://twitter.com/JEDIEV11/status/487288953851375616

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many tweets from Argentina says that Jonas Eriksson is the final-referee.

      Delete
    2. Radio La Red, Buenos Aires. Is that likely?

      Delete
  61. It seems Haimoudi for 3rd place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Official: Haimoudi.

      Delete
    2. And Yuichi Nishimura as Fourth Official. ;-)

      Delete
    3. What does that mean? That Eriksson's rumor is true?

      Delete
  62. A good performance by Cakir. Also, this may have been one of the dullest and least entertaining knockout stage matches in recent WC history.

    I have a very general question related to this.

    Are there particular aspects of game management strategy and approach, decision-making, and overall refereeing style that may significantly affect the entertaining quality of football matches? I am not talking about obvious things, such as allowing an already free-flowing game to flow. Was there anything in Cakir's game management strategy and execution that facilitated onsets of long periods of cagy cautious football? And can a referee tangibly affect entertaining aspects in a positive way in a match that he has under his full control?

    ReplyDelete
  63. Swedish paper Sport Express reporting "several South American journalists" now confirm Eriksson has been appointed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are they the same South American journalists confirming that Geiger was the referee for the second semifinal, even though he was the 4th in Belo Horizonte the day before?
      Who knows, maybe this time they are right, the same way a broken clock is right twice a day :)

      Delete
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