Wednesday 27 June 2012

Germany vs Greece: Observations and Impressions Part Two

The following incidents continue on from Part One of the Euro 2012 quarterfinal match between Germany and Greece on Friday 22 June 2012. The match finished 4—1. There were 2 YCs.

Nine: Greece's Equalizer Goal
In the 55' Greece counterattack down the right wing. AR1 Arhar has to sprint down the touch line to keep up with play. As usual, AR1 Arhar has his flag in his right hand and this is obviously not clearly visible to the Referee as the flag moves jerkily to and fro (compare this with Observation Five with AR2 Žunič in Part One). Here are the freeze frames:

Notice the movement and location of AR1's flag

As AR1 Arhar runs down the touch line towards the goal line, his flag is not clearly visible to Referee Skomina because he is holding it with his right hand

Ten: Good Assistance by AR2
In 67' Mesut Ozil (white 8) is fouled by Socratis Papastathopoulos (blue 19) right in front of AR2 Žunič, who flags it. Here are the freeze frames:

DFK to Germany (white)

Eleven: Good Preventive Officiating by AR2 and EAR2
Immediately following the foul by Greece, AR2 Žunič does well to prevent any further interaction between the two players. And EAR2 Matej Jug comes to help too. This is excellent preventive officiating displayed by the Slovenia assistants. Here are the freeze frames:

AR2 and EAR2 demonstrate preventive officiating and work well together

Socratis (blue 19) clearly trips Ozil (white 8) and yet he still claims Ozil dived. Notice how Socratis grabs Ozil's head with both hands. This is all part of gamesmanship and player dishonesty by Greece's Socratis, with the ulterior motive of inciting confrontation and possible violence and/or player theatrics. It was a clear foul and here are the freeze frames:

This is obviously a foul

Gamesmanship and player dishonesty 'naturally' exists at the competitive level. Furthermore, players may deliberately use this as a tactic to cause trouble which may potentially lead to mass confrontations, violence and then cautions or send offs. Referees and other match officials need to be aware, focused and proactive to these tricks. AR2 and EAR2 demonstrated great awareness of the situation and fine preventive officiating.

Subsequently from the DFK, Germany forward Miroslav Klose (white 11) rises to head the ball in to the net. The score is now 3—1, and Klose has scored his 64th international goal for Germany in 120 games.

Germany forward Klose (white 11) scores

Twelve: Penalty Decision
In the 88' Referee Skomina whistles for a penalty, and Greece's Vassilis Torossidis (blue 15) cheekily pats the Referee. Here are the freeze frames:

Greece's Torossidis (blue 15) cheekily pats Referee Skomina 

Note: remember the cheeky antics of Torossidis towards Referee Carlos Velasco Carballo in Euro 2012's opening match? Torossidis will show his appreciation only to decisions that go his way, and will laugh in the face of match officials when decisions go against him or his team.

End Note: Undignified Coin Toss Impression
Referee Skomina flips the coin and then everyone cranes their necks to peer at the coin landing at their feet.

Why do many Referees at the highest levels appear to prefer letting the coin fall to the ground? For instance, is it a custom in Slovenia to let the coin fall to the ground? How many Referees catch their coins? Englishman and Yorkshire man Howard Webb catches his coin tosses (see Webb's World Cup Final Coin Toss).

The match officials were:
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Assistant referees: Primož Arhar (SVN), Matej Žunič (SVN)
Fourth official: Stéphane Lannoy (FRA)
Additional assistant referees: Slavko Vinčić (SVN), Matej Jug (SVN)


  1. Zunič is just 29 years old and he has proved to us that he is a really good assistant and that he and Gregor Kogoj will be an excellent change for Primož Arhar and Marko Stančin.

  2. Thank you Tomaž Hohler for your comments.

    AR2 Zunič has indeed demonstrated very good officiating and I am particularly impressed with his alert handling of Greece defender Socratis' attempt to incite Germany's Mesut Ozil. Overall, Zunič can be proud of his performance, attitude and actions at Euro 2012.

    I also hope that young and upcoming match officials will acknowledge Zunič's performance, and compare it with the relatively more 'seasoned' AR1 Arhar's performance, so that they understand what constitutes good teamwork, attitude and professionalism at the highest levels.