The football has been brilliant, while the refereeing…well almost a complete disaster.
With only four matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup complete we already have enough refereeing controversy to fill the contents of this blog.
You will recall that the World Cup opened with a storm of controversy surrounding Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura.
He awarded a controversial game-winning penalty kick to Brazil after Fred’s obvious dive in their 3-1 win. The decision had Croatia, their players, coaches and an entire nation fuming at Nishimura.
The match officials for Games 2 and 3 on Friday the 13th should have also captured headlines for all the wrong reasons too, had Mexico and the Netherlands not gone on to win.
Their performance really was a horror show and deserving of a review by our governing body. The match officials from Colombia and Italy clearly lowered the bar for their peers, who get set to take charge of this weekend’s matches.
Mexico and striker Giovani Dos Santos were denied two sure goals via a pair of two dubious offside calls by Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan in the 29th and 40th minutes of their match against Cameroon.
Roldan came into the tournament with a reputation of letting the play flow, but in this case also ignored several serious fouls throughout the match.
Thankfully for Roldan’s sake, Mexico’s Peralta netted the lone-goal of the match in the 64th minute and spared the referee from stealing Nishimura’s thunder.
Game 3 didn’t dampen referee outrage at the tournament either.
Italian match official Nicola Rizzoli clearly made the wrong decision in awarding Spain’s Diego Costa a spot kick in the 44th minute.
Costa was allegedly felled by Dutch defender Stefan de Vrij in the penalty area but most observers not backing La Roja didn’t see the foul.
Rizzoli also failed to spot an obvious foul on Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas which led to the Netherlands third goal in 64th minute.
He neglected to hand out any discipline for a deliberate head butt by Costa to the face of opponent Bruno Martins in the 54th minute.
As with Roldan’s performance, the final scoreline of the match spared Rizzoli from more bad headlines as Holland went on to humiliate the defending World champs 5-1.
Rizzoli clearly had a far worse performance than Nishimura and Roldan combined.
There is ray of hope some hope for frustrated fans since referee Noumandiez Doue from Ivory Coast had a relatively strong performance in Chile’s 3-1 victory over Australia.
Doue went largely unnoticed, making several reasonable decisions and clearly completed the best performance of any referee in the first four matches at this year’s World Cup.
Take note Nishimura, Roldan and Rizzoli, reason and common sense are often good courses of action.
Nishimura took a provisional lead in our worst referee at the 2014 FIFA World Cup poll, but the opening two days of action in Brazil have clearly convinced us that others will supersede him in the days to come.
VOTE NOW IN OUR 2014 FIFA WORLD CUP WORST REFEREE POLL
Who is the worst referee at the FIFA 2014 World Cup?
- Enrique Osses, Chile (0%, 62 Votes)
- Nawaf Shukralla, Bahrain (0%, 66 Votes)
- Mark Geiger, United States (0%, 88 Votes)
- Noumandiez Desire Doue, Ivory Coast (0%, 88 Votes)
- Jonas Eriksson, Sweden (0%, 91 Votes)
- Joel Aguilar, El Salvador (0%, 95 Votes)
- Bakary Papa Gassama, Gambia (0%, 127 Votes)
- Meira Sandro Ricci, Brazil (0%, 134 Votes)
- Carlos Vera, Ecuador (0%, 140 Votes)
- Felix Brych, Germany (0%, 146 Votes)
- Bjorn Kuipers, Netherlands (0%, 146 Votes)
- Cuneyt Cakir, Turkey (0%, 147 Votes)
- Nestor Pitana, Argentina (0%, 152 Votes)
- Ravshan Irmatov, Uzbeckistan (0%, 155 Votes)
- Ben Williams, Australia (0%, 169 Votes)
- Nicola Rizzoli, Italy (0%, 266 Votes)
- Howard Webb, England (0%, 276 Votes)
- Djamel Haimoudi, Ivory Coast (0%, 301 Votes)
- Wilmar Roldan, Colombia (0%, 411 Votes)
- Marco Antonio Rodriguez, Mexico (0%, 491 Votes)
- Pedro Proenca, Portugal (1%, 624 Votes)
- Carlos Velasco Carballo, Spain (1%, 686 Votes)
- Yuichi Nishimura, Japan (2%, 2,067 Votes)
- Peter O'Leary, New Zealand (15%, 16,075 Votes)
- Milorad Mazic, Serbia (79%, 87,362 Votes)
Total Voters: 110,365