Monday, June 14, 2010

World Cup: Rage at the referees

Doyle's World Cup Watching Diary

In seconds, a scared or incompetent official can change an entire World Cup

Australia was soundly beaten by Germany on Sunday and the game signalled that a Ballack-less Germany is to be feared at this World Cup. But the game also telegraphed something else – the inevitable hurly-burly over the quality of refereeing.

Look out, people, as the world gets ready to rage at the refs.

Referee Marco Rodriguez of Mexico is already under fire for being what the English press calls “card happy” and in particular for a dubious red card issued to Australia’s Tim Cahill when Cahill engaged in a from-behind sliding tackle on Sebastien Schweinsteiger. It was a bad call, as Cahill hit the German midfielder with his knees and certainly didn’t go studs-up on the German.

At the same time, Rodriguez should be congratulated for issuing two yellow cards for diving. He did it to German Ozil in the 13th minute when Ozil flung himself theatrically to the ground following a mere glance of a shoulder push from Gerella. Some fans might consider the yellow a bit harsh but the referees have been told by FIFA to curb diving. He yellow card was fair warning. Near the end, he also yellow-carded German Cacau for diving. In all, the ref issued five yellows and a red. Two yellows for diving. One red that was wrong. How dies that rate? Let the arguments start.

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