July 6, 2014

Marco Rodríguez in charge of Brazil - Germany

FIFA has selected Mexican Marco Rodríguez to take charge of World Cup 2014's semifinal Brazil - Germany.


SEMIFINALS, Match 61
08 July 2014, 22:00 CET
Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte
BRAZIL - GERMANY
Referee: Marco RODRÍGUEZ (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Marvin TORRENTERA (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2:  Marcos QUINTERO (MEX)
Fourth Official: Mark GEIGER (USA)
Standby Assistant Referee: Mark Sean HURD (USA)
Blog Referee Observer: Emil (CAN)

69 Comments:

  1. Big surprise for me! Hope he does well!

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    1. A big surprise for everyone, I guess... :)

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  2. I think that after two UEFA officials (Webb and Velasco) it was impossible to assign another European referee to Brazil.
    At the same time, no options from CONMEBOL, therefore the forced choice is a CONCACAF referee. The most experienced one.
    Now it seems to me quite sure Cakir for ARG-NED.
    He can't handle directly the final after two group stage matches...

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  3. Well surprising, but not at all a bad decision by Busacca. I would even call it daring. But I firmly believe that he will have a good performance.

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  4. According to Betfair, Irmatov is the top candidate for the final, followed by Eriksson, Rizzoli, Proenca, Geiger, Doue(??), Cakir, Kuipers, Webb and Vera.

    My long shot would be Vera.

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    1. According to BETFAIR, Daniel Bennett who misses the World Cup (and was foreseen only as Fourth Official) is more probable than Nawaf Shukralla, Wilmar Roldan, Carlos Velasco Carballo and Felix Brych. Even the participating Fourth Officials are higher rated for the final there than the four mentioned main referees. ;-)

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  5. I am positively surprised with Marco Rodriguez. Fully deserved appointment for me as I strongly disagreed with 7.6 mark for ITA-URU (sorry, Niclas ;)). Nice choice.

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  6. I like this appointment. Reasons:
    - I am a fan of confed neutrality
    - Rodriguez is one of the most experienced referees, not only because his World cups, also the Mexican League is one of the strongest outside of Europe, and he has whistled over 300 matches there
    - Although his performance in ITA-URU raised a lot of attention it was not really bad, therefore I don't think, the appointment contradicts the performance principle. IMO he was not worse than e.g. Rizzoli or Cakir.
    - IMO the CONCACAF referees formed the strongest confederation team, meaning that in average their performance were better than the referee groups of the other continents. Therefore it would have been strange to leave them out in the final four matches.
    - I don't have the impression, that Rodriguez has problems with high pressure
    - Besides the "Dracula" connection, Rodriguez' reputation in Germany is not bad, his performance in GER-AUS 2010 was seen positive as far as I remember
    - Also Brazil has a 2 wins out of 2 record with him (10 years ago...)

    Probably there are also a couple of arguments against him...

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    1. One more aspect: Marco Rodriguez' assignment is not only confederationally neutral but also with regard to his mother tongue and the national languages of the teams involved.

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    2. why is it so much politics involved when it should be taken out judges to the playoffs, when fifa says that countries covenant not let politics interfere in football? Would not it be easier to have the best referees judge, regardless of country of residence?

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  7. this appointment is a total disgrace! is Massimo Busacca now completely out of his mind? again no Howard Webb. Why?
    Marco Rodríguez with a horrible performance in the spain-chile groupstage-game at the 2010 World Cup. very Controversial sent-off against chile!

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    1. Stay tuned. I'm almost sure that we'll see Webb in second semi- or same final. :)

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    2. If we look for one bad performance, we will find one for each referee...
      Why don't you wait for the game? Rodriguez ist very experienced in a strong league, had a very good first and an o.k. second game at this World Cup and is in my eyes a very good choice. Especially his Match Control skills willl be very important in this match.

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    3. Webb is the worst referee in the world.
      Din't you guys remember his really bad performance in 2010 final?
      He did not deserve beeing selected for 2014

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    4. Howard Webb is the BEST referee in the world! he did nothing wrong in the 2010 WC final.

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    5. Settle down kids! We can all agree that Howard Webb does the greatest Shrek impersonation in the world (he says so himself in the FIFA video)!
      At this stage of the WC, yelling insults about the "best" and the "worst" referee in the world is really, well, childish. Also, Alan, Howard Webb CANNOT be assigned for every game in the tournament, so no need to scream about injustice each time an appointment is published without him. Busacca may very well be a terrible refereeing director, but that has nothing to do with him failing to select your favourite referee for this particular game.
      With appointments, act like an AR: wait and see...

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  8. Like many others, I also expect Cakir for NED-ARG now. I would not like any referee to get the final without previous knockout match, furthermore there are no really convincing alternatives for the match. Webb maybe, but probably both teams would not like that (historical rivalry Argentina-England). However I could inagine him as fourth official in that match.
    If we have two UEFA-Conmebol matches then, I assume an African referee in the third place match. I would prefer Gassama, but think he has smaller chances than Haimoudi and Doue. In this case, Irmatov seems the first choice for the final.
    If we have BRA-ARG in one of the matches, things could change. We need a very strong referee here, i.e. Kuipers (my favourite), Webb or Rizzoli (or maybe Proenca?). For GER-NED, the referee would be very difficult to predict. If it is the final, Rizzoli should have good chances, but also Ricci and Pitana, and still Irmatov. For the third place match, even more possibilities...

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    1. To be specific (4th in brackets):
      NED-ARG: Cakir (Webb)

      3rd BRA-NED Doue (Gassama)
      GER-NED Vera (Ricci)
      BRA-ARG Kuipers (Haimoudi)
      GER-ARG Haimoudi (Gassama)

      Final GER-ARG: Irmatov (Williams)
      BRA-ARG: Kuipers (Eriksson)
      GER-NED: Rizzoli (Irmatov)
      BRA-NED: Irmatov (Williams)




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    2. I fear that Björn Kuipers is no option for the final any more since Argentina would/could argue that he is biased after having eliminated the Dutch team in the semi-final.

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  9. Very interesting. So, is Cakir possible with Argentina, after they had just had twice UEFA referees in last two matches?
    It's really unpredictable, we could also say:
    GER-ARG: Gassama
    Final: Haimoudi.....

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    1. I would be happy with Haimoudi in the final. Really.

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    2. I agree, except from the penalty call in NED-AUS Haimoudi really convinced me! Would be a milestone for the African Federation!

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    3. Why not Doue for the final?

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  10. I am surprised about the number of designations (including the roles as Fourth Officials) for Howard Webb and Cüneyt Cakir so far: Each of them had two matches as "main referees" but no one as Fourth Officials compared to up to five (Mark Geiger: 3 + 2).

    Why were they not considered as Fourth Officials at Germany - France instead of Jonas Eriksson who whistled Argentina - Switzerland just three days ago, for example? Maybe Cüneyt Cakir has already been granted some extra period of time for preparation?

    As for Howard Webb: If FIFA neither wants to nominate him for a match with the Netherlands (or the Dutch federation rejects him with regard to the lost final four years ago) nor for a second final he would be completely out if Argentina reaches the final.

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  11. Some news concerning Dutch ref Björn Kuipers.
    Despite three outstanding performances Team Kuipers is now released from duties and will leave Brazil.
    Massimo Busacca, FIFA's head of refereeing, praised the Dutch referee team, but said he was left no choice as to let Kuipers go because of the Netherlands qualifying for semi-finals.

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  12. The nomination of Rodriguez makes sense as long as confederation neutrality is a factor. Together with Irmatov he is clearly the most experienced 'non-European' referee. I see him as very reliable and competent, after having initially disliked his arrogance in his younger days.

    And at this stage of the World Cup, FIFA should go with proven experience instead of experimenting. If a top referee had a less successful game, this should not mean that he is suddenly out of the running. (The sudden mishap may have been more FIFA's fault anyway). So I can appreciate the frustrations which some have expressed regarding the absence of Webb and others. Along those lines, I hope there is still a chance for one more game for Rizzoli.

    Regarding neutrality: the separation of CONCACAF and CONMEBOL is an artificial construct that other sports do not use. Mexicans and other Central Americans have often been used as 'neutral' solutions in games between European and South American teams, but are they really?? Similarly, ARG and BRA often get referees from Italy and Spain, while ITA, ESP and POR get Latin American referees. This is in mind more of a concern if neutrality matters so much.

    Finally, I was puzzled by the comment that it should disqualify Rodriguez that he did not see what Suarez did. Without being too sarcastic, I assume it suited FIFA just fine that he stated, post-game, that he had not seen anything. This made it easer for FIFA to punish Suarez....

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  13. In my opinion only referees who were in charge of a play-off game so far are further relevant for a final appointment. I can't imagine Cakir to handle the final after 2 group-stage matches only!

    Carballo - out (not convincing in BRA-COL)
    Eriksson
    Geiger - out (2 crucial mistakes in FRA-NIG)
    Haimoudi
    Irmatov - out (IMO poor performance in NED-COR)
    Kuipers - out because of Netherlands
    Pitana - out because of Argentinia
    Proenca - out (poor performance in round of 16)
    Ricci - out because of Brasil
    Rizzoli
    Webb
    Williams - out (average performances and not enough experience)

    In that respect we will see either Eriksson, Haimoudi, Rizzoli or Webb to handle the final!

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  14. Arbitro International has published the list of the refs who are leaving from Brazil... but it has not been confirmed by FIFA, anyway it is a reliable source.
    Here is the link: http://internationalreferee.blogspot.com/2014/07/el-unico-corte.html

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    1. So no Gassama for third place final.

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    2. I know, I'm surprised too.

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    3. Why is Sandro Ricci allowed to stay in the tournament - "stay in Brazil" would sound a bit strange ;-) - whereas Björn Kuipers and Nestor Pitana have to leave it due to the further participation of their national teams? I cannot imagine that the Brazilian trio will be appointed - even as Fourth Officials - once again. And why does FIFA retain Yuichi Nishimura instead of Nawaf Shukralla? Might this mean that we even could expect his name to be revealed for Argentina - Netherlands this evening?

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    4. Perhaps just because he is from Brazil, he can "return home" when he wants.

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  15. With hindsight, forced appointment, Brazil would likely not have accepted anyone else. We will see a good performance I think, if both teams focus on football. Now Nishimura for the other semifinal? Or Cakir? Btw unbelievable that Proenca and Velasco stay in Brazil.

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  16. The most unbelievable is that Nishimura with only 1 match is there.

    Politics. Not my favorite sport.

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  17. The same Italian source (La Gazzetta dello Sport) who was reliable about Rodriguez evaluation, today reports that FIFA has five names in its book for the final:
    Cakir, Rizzoli, Proença, Irmatov, Geiger.

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  18. Provided the source is right (it is certainly believable), politics and the need for F.A. neutrality would make it look like:
    -) Irmatov or Geiger will be designated for a European-SouthAmerican clash;
    -) Rizzoli or Proença in case it will be GER-NED (no more ARG for Rizzoli, it would be his third, and certainly no BRA for the Portuguese Proença);
    -) Cakir the more logical choice should the final be BRA-ARG (should that be the small final Geiger could also be appointed).

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    1. GER-ARG to Irmatov seems quite difficult...

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    2. You may be right, but then again Irmatov reaching 9 games in two World Cups and being included in the final ballot speak books about what actual merit really means to Busacca & co. :)
      Not to mention the poor physical fitness he displayed in the NED-CRC match, that should be enough to leave him out of any logical ballot, in my book.

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    3. Personally, if we don't see Cakir's name tonight, I believe we will see his name for the final. Only problem might be if Brazil reach final, they can say no to him... Looking at remaining referees he seems to be the safest choice for all teams. There might be issues why he was not appointed during knock out stage. FIFA - Busacca might keep a name who will not be discussed with his performance. If he was appointed and made a mistake his safe bet might get hurt.
      It will be insane to give Irmatov 5th match and leave Cakir with 2 games.

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  19. Niclas, you mentioned the problem of newspaper headlines, should Rodriguez be appointed: "Referee who missed Luis Suárez bite gets Brazil v Germany semi-final"
    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/jul/06/referee-suarez-bite-charge-brazil-germany-semi-final

    It seems that Busacca does not care about that...

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  20. FIFA has made the list of referees leaving and staying in Brazil official:

    http://m.fifa.com/worldcup/news/y=2014/m=7/news=referees-for-the-final-four-matches-announced-2401256.html

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    1. "The committee defined the list after careful monitoring of all referees and assistant referees on a daily basis together with the technical staff. In line with how designations have been made throughout the tournament, quality was the main criteria while physical, medical and technical aspects were also taken into consideration."

      :)

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    2. So Brych not referee of quality? :)

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    3. ...but Velasco, Proença and Osses demonstrated quality...

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  21. I just wonder, which source some people here use for claiming that a association can accept or refuse a referee. If that would be the case and wide spread known, FIFA cannot speak of fair play. The designation of a referee should be based on his skills and achievements, not on political or, even worse, personal issues. Concerning recent matches is not a problem for me, but that should be done by the referee committee, not by a football association.

    The same counts for confederation neutrality. That should not matter, the ability of a referee should be leading. Of course I understand, FIFA wants referees from all continents, but as FIFA is doing already, it can distinguish between expected match difficulties. Every match should have the referee it needs.

    See for example the Olympic final in ice hockey. Canada was playing there and 1 of the referees as well as the 2 linesmen were Canadians. No one was complaining, since they were the best possible referees for that match.

    Not appointing Brych, Kuipers, Ricci or Pitana in the last two matches for matches in which their country is not involved, just because of the results of semi finals, is a lack of trust in the referee's neutrality. Not only by the national football associations, but by the FIFA as well. The referee committee should back its referees concerning neutrality.

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    1. FIFA also has the responsibility to protect their referees. You don't want to know what the Brazilian media and association would do if an Argentine (Pitana) had been chosen for BRA-GER as an example.

      You can probably guess that the sources we use are confidential. From what I know this is however common praxis inside FIFA since 1994 and an open secret in professional refereeing.

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    2. You refer to Sándor Puhl who was given the honour of controlling the final due to the rejection of Peter Mikkelsen by João Havelange?

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    3. The point made by Niclas about protecting the referees is extremely important. You do not want to imply that the referees are not neutral, but you also do not want to subject them to crazy risks, even before the game (pressure, accusations, suspicions). You must think about the longer term and preserve the viability of your top referees for future events. (Of course, this applies not just to neutrality but also to the risk of putting talented referees on games for which they do not yet have the necessary experience,)

      About the 'veto rights' of certain top federations, this is not something unique to football. It is the same in other sports, where football and FIFA practices are often used as ;good examples'.... The question is how far this practice is allowed to be taken. And there should be no excuse for allowing certain countries to pick the referees they prefer to have for one reason or another!

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    4. Isn't that a problem of the society in which we are living (as football fans)? The only conclusion that can be drawn from this, is that the football society is truly sad by not trusting other human beings. That's the whole point.

      If FIFA really wants to make a change to the world as they are implying on their flags and banners, they should do something about this so called designations, which in fact ais some kind of slavery, in which some associations are the masters and referees can be glad to even get a match. Why bother, whether Busacca stays or leaves?

      This would also mean, that whole discussions on this blog about the number of appointments given to referees during this WC are meaningless, since they are subject to the approval of both associations. Or are some association more equal than others? The whole football is (getting) sick and FIFA should act, for the game, for the world.

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    5. Dear Stijn, only two comments.

      "This would also mean, that whole discussions on this blog about the number of appointments given to referees during this WC are meaningless" - Yes and that's why we have lost motivation in following this tournament with more intensity, at least in terms of that area of discussion.

      "The whole football is (getting) sick and FIFA should act, for the game, for the world." - A fish rots from the head down in most cases and so it's here. Don't expect from FIFA to be the frontfighters for less political influence in referee designations, I think instead of a top-down process by the world federation a bottom-up process is needed. The media and confederation refcoms should make more pressure.

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  22. Reckless forearm hit by David Luiz at 14'? Any opinions?

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    1. Free kick should've been given. However, Klose was not hit in the face. Hence, no yellow card needed.

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  23. No match after 20 minutes...

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    1. No. None at all. Although I think that there was an offside before the 5th German goal.

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    2. A replay was shown here in Italy. Excellent onside by AR2, really difficult.
      Rodriguez will enter into history having officiated this semifinal...

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  24. Easy first half for Rodriguez. Not much to call. Only a (probably) incorrect corner in the first minute to report (I'm not sure the ball was out, but haven't watched replays). The offside on goal #5 seems too close to call for me (again, I'll rewatch before writing the report). The no penalty decision at 17' is perfect.

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  25. Luiz Gustavo should've definitely been booked for reckless tackle (38'). Even taking the one-side game character into account, such cynical foul must be punished with a card. I agree about the rest.

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    1. I agree. It was a very poor challenge, with the studs being planted onto the ankles. And if no card at 38', then there should have been one in 54'.

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  26. Several rejected penalty appeals by Rodriguez, and I agree.
    But in this WC 0 cards for simulations.. this isn't nomal! :)

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  27. Mistake by AR2 flagging an offside after a deliberate play by a defender.

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  28. A big compliment! Yes I noticed some minor issues in positioning and foul detection but for me a real good performance. Liked his player management and match control. I could see he he changed his strategy after 3-0. I think to prevent frustration leading to violent conduct. Again very good performance overall. Indicative mark 8.6/8.7.

    Regards

    RC

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  29. What did you think about Luiz' kick at Mueller in 77'? I thought it should have at least been a yellow. I can understand why it's not given, but it looked awfully violent to me.

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    1. If there had been a contact, Rodriguez would have had no choice but to send Luiz off. Even without actual contact, YC might have been appropriate, given the obvious violent intent. But it was not needed for match control and thus not shown.

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  30. Kick or attempt to kick an opponent is Red Card. At least it was a yellow card if stopping to give a free kick surely.

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