Monday 14 June 2010

Food For Thought: Fabio Capello On Mistakes

The following incident occurred during the World Cup group match between England and USA on Saturday 12 June 2010. The match finished 1—1.

[England's Robert Green fumbles the ball to gift USA a goal. Pic courtesy Getty Images]

On Robert Green's goalkeeping blunder, England coach said Capello:
We have to accept the mistakes of the keeper in football, just like we have to accept the mistakes of the referees or the forwards.

On reflection, just how easy is it for the media, fans, players, managers and commentators to "accept the mistakes" of referees compared with those made by football players?

2010 World Cup Underway: AFC Match Officials Start

On the first day of the World Cup, the first and second matches were officiated by referee trios from the AFC.

The first match between hosts South Africa and Mexico was officiated by Ravshan IRMATOV (Uzbekistan) and assistant referees Rafael ILYASOV (UZB) and Bahadyr KOCHKAROV (KGZ).

[Uzbek referee Ravshan Irmatov. Pic courtesy AFP]

The second match between France an Uruguay was officiated by Yuichi NISHIMURA (Japan) and assistant referees Toru SAGARA (JPN) and Hae Sang JEONG (KOR).

[Referee Yuichi Nishimura checks which card he has shown ... and then follows it up with a red card (below)]

[The first red card of the 2010 World Cup went to Uruguay's Lodeiro for a second caution]

Friday 11 June 2010

Foul and Abusive [English] Language

One consequence of the overblown media circus surrounding England is the reaction and response from the general football community towards England’s actions. The latest reaction is news that World Cup referees, who are not native English speakers, are learning English swear words (see below).

FIFA spokesman Alex Stone is quoted as saying:
“There was no requirement for referees to know obscenities in languages other than English.”

Part of the fun in learning about different cultures is the local use of colourful obscenities, otherwise why travel if not to help broaden one’s knowledge?

[England's Wayne Rooney hurling an "English obscenity" at the referee, earlier this week. Pic courtesy Michael Regan/Getty Images]

World Cup referees learning English swear words (Associated Press)
Thu Jun 10, 2010

The Brazilian referee and his assistants who will work the England-United States match at the World Cup have been studying English-language obscenities the players might use.

Carlos Simon will referee Saturday's match in Rustenburg, assisted by Roberto Braatz and Altemir Hausmann. They want to ensure players can't get away with abuse.

"We have to learn what kind of words the players say," Hausmann told Brazilian broadcaster Globo Sport. "All players swear and we know we will hear a few."

Braatz says they aren't learning them in "11 different languages, but at least we have to know the swear words in English."

FIFA denied reports that match officials have been given lists of swear words to listen for, but did say proficiency in English was a requirement for referees and assistants working the World Cup.

In addition, refereeing officials briefed all teams about the rules, including the potential for players to be cautioned or sent off for abusive language or gestures.

"There should not be any surprises to any members of the teams," FIFA spokesman Alex Stone said.

Stone said there was no requirement for referees to know obscenities in languages other than English.

Wayne Rooney received a yellow card during England's warmup match against South African club Platinum Stars on Monday for swearing at the referee.

"In this day and age I think it's important to show the referees some respect," England captain Steven Gerrard said. "You don't use any language because then you'll be booked and the whole team suffers. You don't want to fall into that trap ...

"We've had experience of losing big players at important times."

Wednesday 9 June 2010

Some Observations From England’s Final Friendly Before 2010 World Cup

The following observations are from a friendly match between England and local South African side Platinum Stars on Monday 7 June 2010.

Although only a friendly, it was still interesting to see how the referee Jeff Selogilwe performed, and the way he handled celebrity players. No doubt, all World Cup match officials will have been watching the various friendly matches as part of their final preparations.

[Colour clash. The Platinum Stars goalkeeper is wearing a yellow shirt and black shorts, which is similar to the match officials.]

[Kick off. Referee Jeff Selogilwe signals the start of the match.]

[England's Jermain Defoe slots the ball past the referee goalkeeper. Pic courtesy Reuters.]

[Positioning. During a penalty kick, the referee stands amongst the England players.]

[The referee cautions England's Wayne Rooney, after Rooney says "F@# You" to him.]

[Referee Jeff Selogilwe comes face to face with his favourite player Wayne Rooney. Pic courtesy Michael Regan/Getty Images]

For his performance, the referee Jeff Selogilwe received Wayne Rooney's shirt. The referee publicly warned Rooney that he risked being sent off if he used similar foul and abusive language in the World Cup.

Rooney's England and Manchester United team-mate Rio Ferdinand, who is out of the World Cup through injury, responded by saying: "I'm sure [Wayne Rooney has] said a lot worse to other referees in Premier League games."

No doubt Ferdinand is correct!!

Sunday 6 June 2010

View from Female Referee in Kenya

Here’s an interesting short clip (what the BBC call: African Football Shorts) about 32-year-old female referee, Tabitha Wambui, who referees in the Kenya Premier League.

Wambui says:
When you know the rules of the game and you apply them, nothing is hard.

Friday 4 June 2010

Referee Deceived in Deepest Darkest Peru

The following incident occurred in the first minute of the Sporting Cristal and Cesar Vallejoon match on Sunday 30 May 2010 in Peru. Video clips of the incident can be viewed here, here and here.

The X Factor
For optimal officiating, the referee must get his positioning right so that he can have a clear and unobstructed view of any potential contact between players.

[This camera view (above) demonstrates why this angle is unhelpful for identifying potential fouls.]

[The attacker from Cesar Vallejoon (white) is running away from goal and knows that he will have to get past the approaching defender from Sporting Cristal (blue) before having an opportunity to attack the goal.]

The above four freeze frames reveal what actually happened. The defending player (blue) is running behind and across the attacking player (white). There is no contact, but the attacking player falls down hoping to deceive the referee.
Hint: Referees should also consider the attacking player’s motivation for simulation (does the player have a clear run towards goal?) and the action of the player (is the action exaggerated and theatrical?)

The defending goalkeeper has an optimal view of the simulation. Had the referee been in an equally optimal position (i.e. directly opposite the goalkeeper on the other side of the two players), then it is likely the simulation would have been detected, with the attacking player receiving a caution and the defending team restarting with an indirect free kick.

However in this incident, the referee was deceived and the resulting penalty sealed the 0-1 victory to Cesar Vallejoon (white team).

Thursday 3 June 2010

Some Observations from Pre-World Cup Friendlies

Japan 1-2 England
The following incident occurred during the Japan and England friendly on Sunday 30 May 2010.

Players continue to encroach, and it appears referees continue to allow players to enter the penalty area before the penalty taker kicks the ball.

[England’s Frank Lampard (red #8) hasn’t kicked the ball yet, and Wayne Rooney (red #10) is already about 6 or 7 yards close to the ball. Two Japan players (blue #22, #2) have also encroached. Pic Getty Images.]

Q: The penalty was saved by the Japan goalkeeper. Within the laws of the game, what should referees do in this situation?

Australia 1-0 Denmark
The following incident occurred during the Australia and Denmark friendly on Tuesday 1 June 2010 at the Roodepoort Athletics Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Offside Player Involved in Active Play
Law 11 states that a player in an offside position is penalised if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee involved in active play.

[Australia’s Josh Kennedy (yellow #9) should have been penalised for being offside and interfering with an opponent. Video link here.]

The above five freeze frames show that when the ball is crossed from the right, Kennedy (yellow) is in an offside position. The ball is then deflected up and, because the defending team has not yet brought the ball under control, Kennedy should be regarded as "interfering with an opponent". ARs must watch these situations closely.

Related Post (Law 14)
Europa League Penalty Kicks and Encroachment

Related Posts (Law 11)
Some Observations of the 2010 Europa League Final

Offside and Consistency

Offside and Optimum Officiating