Sunday 10 June 2012

Stubborn AR Lets Down Slovenia Match Officials

What a shame that the slovenly AR from Slovenia is letting down his team-mates during Euro 2012. This AR1 (Primož Arhar), as mentioned in previous posts (in A Slovenly AR and UCL: Strange Impressions of FIFA ARs and UEFA EARs), continues to display an incredible inflexibility and ignorance for a match official operating at the highest level.

He continues to hold his flag in his right hand as he runs down the touch line toward the goal line. He also continues to use his left hand to point (and to publicly signal a redundant message, i.e. "no offside") at onside players. Here are the freeze frames:

AR1 Primož Arhar running towards the goal line with the flag in his right hand

In contrast, AR2 Matej Žunič runs toward the goal line with the flag clearly visible to the Referee on the FOP. Also the flag is relatively still whilst AR2 is running.

It is not that AR1 cannot use his left hand to hold the flag. It is just that he chooses not to (look at the frames below). He chooses not to be consistent with UEFA and FIFA guidelines.

AR1 shows that he is capable of using his left hand to hold the flag as he stands sideways (perpendicular with the halfway line). However, he then reverts to his habit of holding the flag in his right hand as he prepares to ready himself to run down the touch line toward the goal line.

Also, AR1 likes to use his left hand to point (and to publicly signal a redundant message). Here are the freeze frames:

AR1 makes the correct call (i.e. no offside) but is this appearance and action consistent with UEFA and FIFA guidelines for ARs?

The above incidents all occurred during the Euro 2012 group match between the Netherlands and Denmark on 9 June 2012. The match finished 0—1. There were 3 YCs.

SUMMARY (using questions)

Who was the Referee observer for the Netherlands and Denmark group match on 9 June 2012?
Will the Referee observer at Euro 2012 be more effective in asking the ARs (specifically AR1 Arhar) to demonstrate consistency and correct interpretation of the Laws compared with previous Referee observers who worked during the Champions and Europa Leagues?
Will AR1 (Arhar) adapt during the Euro 2012 tournament and become consistent with the UEFA and FIFA guidelines?

The match officials are:
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Assistant referees: Primož Arhar (SVN), Matej Žunič (SVN)
Fourth official: Pavel Kralovec (CZE)
Additional assistant referees: Matej Jug (SVN), Slavko Vinčić (SVN)

A Note About Consistency At EURO 2012

In the opening match of Euro 2012 with Poland against Greece, we saw Referee Carlos Carballo caution a Greece player for dissent (after haranguing the Referee following an incident where the ball makes contact with a player's arm). This is mentioned at the end of the post All EARs: Could Clattenburg's Cowboy Crouch Become A Classic?

Due to UEFA's heavy focus on Respect (see EURO Respect Campaign Launched), the assumption is that during the tournament the UEFA Referees Committee would be clamping down on dissent, such as incidents like the "haranguing of Referees". It was therefore a welcome sight to see Referee Carballo caution Greece number 20 for his disrespectful action in the opening match of EURO 2012.

And one day later Referee Damir Skomina had the opportunity to follow suit in the Netherlands against Denmark match ... but did not. In the 88' the ball makes contact with the arm of a Denmark player #6 (Lars Jacobsen) in the penalty area. Dutch player #9 (Klaas-Jan Huntelaar) feels aggrieved by this and harangues Referee Skomina for not awarding a penalty. Here are the freeze frames:

Referee Skomina does not caution a disrespectful Klaas-Jan Huntelaar

Referee Damir Skomina knows Netherlands player Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is haranguing him but chooses to ignore him. This is not consistent with the actions of Referee Carlos Carballo during the previous day. Also, will this be an important criterion set down by the UEFA Referees Committee? Time will tell when more matches and similar incidents unfold at Euro 2012.


  1. again, this goes to show that performance is what uefa RIGHTLY care the most about. while technique may be unorthodox, he proves himself by his good performances. There is no reason to critique the assistant referee if he is performing well. guidelines are guidelines but performance is what counts for the good of the game. you should stop criticizing the assistant referee because he has obviously proven himself by being selected for such a prestigious tournament and supporting referee damir skomina. BE FLEXIBLE

  2. Yes, thank you Anon for your comment. Be flexible and please do not 'shout' otherwise your comments may be deleted. This blog is flexible because, for example, it allows anonymous readers to comment.

    This blog allows me to post my observations about match officials. The performance of AR Arhar has never been criticized; in fact, I have fairly given Arhar his due by showing on this blog that his performance has been good. The main point is that I have mentioned the strange impressions that he gives out, which are inconsistent with the guidelines about how ARs should perform their duties.

    Let's put it another way. At the highest levels, sometimes a choice has to be made to chose one match official over another. How is this done when, for instance, the performances of a group of ARs are all equally good? This is when other criteria have to be used. If there has to be a choice between choosing ARs who are all performing equally good but one of them is observed to always ignore the standard guidelines then, all things being equal, it should be pretty clear and reasonable that the other ARs would have a better standing.