Thursday, 14 June 2012

EARs Put In Hard Yards But With Little Benefit To Referees

These freeze frames are from the Euro 2012 group match between Poland and Russia on Tuesday 12 June 2012. The match finished 1—1. There were 4YCs.

There has been some criticism about the poor quality of the pitches in Poland. For instance, Spain 'false no 9' Cesc Fabregas blamed the pitch in Gdansk for their draw with Italy (plus there were 'watering' issues), and Russia right-back Kirill Nababkin said the pitch in Warsaw's National Stadium was "average".

Look at the condition of the pitch, especially where EAR1 is positioned. It appears that EARs are shuffling, shunting and shuttling along the goal line within their 12-yard strip of territory with verve and vigour! However, despite their sincere efforts the ineffectiveness of EARs remains.

Perhaps because of the poor quality of the pitch combined with the wear and tear produced by fellow EARs, EAR1 slips during a Poland corner.

Oops, I slipped, honest. I swear I'm NOT modifying Clattenburg's Cowboy Crouch!

Note: Referee Wolfgang Stark Reminds Captains About Respect

Captains, can you read?
So, no Cr@p today OK?

This reminds me of this Respect Campaign incident by Referee Jonas Eriksson in a Champions League match. This 'last-minute reminder to the captains' has absolutely no influence whatsoever to the players' behaviour but, because it is caught on the TV cameras, it at least has some value to help match officials in times of difficulty.

The match officials were:
Referee: Wolfgang Stark (GER)
Assistant referees: Jan-Hendrik Salver (GER), Mike Pickel (GER)
Fourth official: István Vad (HUN)
Additional assistant referees: Florian Meyer (GER), Deniz Aytekin (GER)


  1. Perhaps you also notice positive examples of additional assistant referees, e.g. in NED-DEN, ARS-MIL- CHE-BEN etc etc...

  2. Yes Niclas E, there are some incidents where EARs have been useful. For instance in the post In one EAR, out the other EAR. I have also discussed the difference in using goal-line technology and using EARs (which at the moment are behaving just like 'robots') in Recognizing Head Injuries.

    You are welcome to provide additional examples of the effectiveness and usefulness of EARs too. Question: Is the future use of EARs truly feasible in the 'evolution' of match officiating at the highest levels?