Referee reviews from the 2nd Stage of the FIFA World Cup



MOST FOULS IN A MATCH: Howard Webb 51, Match 49, June 28, Brazil 0, Chile 0 (Brazil wins 3-2 on penalties)
MOST YELLOW CARDS IN A MATCH: Ben Williams 8, Match 52, June 29, Costa Rica 1, Greece 1 (Coasta Rica wins 5-3 on penalties)


Match 55, JONAS ERIKSSON (Sweden) Argentina 1,  Switzerland 0 (extra time): The millionaire referee called his best of his three matches so far at the World Cup in a chippy battle that required extra time for Argentina to break a 0-0 deadlock…Eriksson whistled Switzerland for 29 fouls to Argentina’s 18 while the South Americans went into the books three times compared to two yellow cards for their rivals from Europe…Granit Xhaka of Switzerland was first to go into the referee’s notebook for his body check on Ezequiel Lavezzi at the midfield stripe..His teammate Gelson Fernandes also saw a yellow card in the 73rd minute for a brutal takedown of Angel Di Maria…As the intensity of the match and chances for both teams increased in the final minutes so did the cards. Albicelestes’ Marcos Rojo will miss his team’s quarter-final match after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament for a horrific challenge on Ricardo Rodriguez of Switzerland in the 90th minute. The foul easily could have drawn a red card…With a 1-0 lead Argentina hung on in the final three minutes of play and picked up two yellow cards with the goal scorer Di Maria going into the books for his foul on Rodriguez in the 120th minute and Ezequiel Garay earning a yellow card for dissent after arguing Eriksson’s last-second foul call for Garay’s challenge on Xherdan Shaqiri at the top of the Argentina penalty area…There were a few flaws the referee’s performance including two no calls during a wild goalmouth scramble in the 78th minute which saw Argentina’s Lionel Messi catching Stephan Lichsteiner with a late foul and Diego Benaglio stepping on top of Switzerland goalkeeper Benaglio Palacio. Eriksson chose to ignore both offences and instead to the disbelief of Switzerland awarded Argentina a corner kick…A clumsy moment in the 105th minute from the referee who draws some harsh words from Shaqiri for thwarting a Switzerland rush after stepping in front of the ball and then obstructing the striker as his team losses possession of the ball. Yellow Cards: 5, Fouls: 46

Match 56,  DJAMEL HAIMOUDI (Algeria), Belgium 2, United States 1 (extra time)Despite pre-match criticism of Haimoudi by U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann, a nearly flawless performance by Africa’s 2012 referee of the year in one of the most memorable matches of the tournament match won in extra time by Belgium. Although there were a few blips worthy of mention, little seemed to deceive the referee from Algeria and his linesmen…Geoff Cameron of the united States received the first yellow card of the match in the 18th minute for his late challenge on Dries Mertens…Three minutes before the break, Belgium’s Vincent Kompany chops out the legs of striker Clint Dempsey forcing Haimoudi to reach for a yellow card…The referee halted play for over a minute after a pitch invasion in the 16th minute…Haimoudi missed spotting what seemed three serious fouls in the opening half, the first occurring after he failed to whistle down Eden Hazard for a handball in the 13th minute and on the same play Haimoudi fails to blow his whistle or reach for yellow for a reckless challenge by Matt Besler on Belgium’s Divock Origi…Michael Bradley also escaped punishment after Mertens was taken down at the halfway line during a Belgium rush…A rather uneventful second half and some more solid decisions from Djamel and his crew including ruling Kevin Mirallas onside on Belgium’s 76th minute breakaway…In the final minutes of the match he and his assistants appeared to miss an offside on Belgium’s Vincent Kompany who was in an offside position when he received a pass from De Bruyne but thankfully for the United States their goalkeeper Tim Howard made another spectacular save to keep the score level…After being outscored 2-1 in extra time U.S. coach Jurgen launches a verbal assault on the fourth official in the match for only adding on minute of injury time at the end of the match. Yellow Cards: 2. Fouls:38


Match 53, MARK GEIGER (United States), France 2, Nigeria 0A sub-par performance by the Major League Soccer referee who failed to punish several serious fouls by the eventual winners France who were clearly out-played by Nigeria in the first 60 minutes of this match. Geiger failed to award a sure penalty kick in the opening half or punish French players who could do little to contain their quicker and more athletic opponents with late challenges and other deliberate fouls that went unpunished by the American referee….Off the ball on a Nigeria throw-in,  Victor Mosses takes an elbow to the face by Yohan Cabaye of France in the 24th minute in full view of Geiger but no call. It is clear Geiger had spotted the foul as he has words with both players after the offence took place…In the 39th minute Les Bleus’ Patrice Evra puts a full nelson wrestling hold on Peter Odemwingie on a Nigeria corner kick. After the ball goes out of bounds, it is clear Geiger has again spotted this blatant foul but gives both players a warning instead of pointing to the spot and giving Evra a caution or ejection for the offence…In the 49th minute French defender Mathieu Debuchy with a ill-timed late challenge on opponent Juwan Oshaniwa but no call from Geiger again……Blaise Matuidi of France earns the only yellow card of the match in the 54th minute after stepping on the ankle of Ogenyi Onazi who eventually is forced to leave the game five minutes later due to his injury suffered on the play…Goal-line technology is again used to determine that France did not score a 69th minute goal when Nigeria`s Victor Mosses cleared the ball off the line on a French breakaway…Yellow Cards: 1, Fouls: 27

Match 54, SANDRO RICCI (Brazil) Germany 2, Algeria 1 (extra time): A near flawless performance from referee Ricci in this extra time match dominated by Germany and decided on a 92nd minute strike by Andre Schurrle….The referee from Brazil blew down a total of 20 fouls on Algeria compared to 10 fouls for Germany who enjoyed 67 per cent of ball possession in the match….It took 32 minutes of the match before Germany conceded a foul when Mario Gotze fouled Arabi Soudani while Algeria had been whistled for six fouls at that point… Ricci correctly disallowed a 17th minute goal by Islam Slimani who was in an offside position when he received the ball…Awarded Nigeria’s Rafik Halliche the only yellow card of regulation time for his foul on Bastian Schweinsteiger in the 42nd minute of play…Germany’s Philipp Lahm gets the second yellow card of the match for almost pulling the shorts off of opponent Racine Brahimi in the 107th minute…German penalty kick appeal by Thomas Muller denied as his opponent Mehdi Mostefa clearly puts the grab on the striker whose screams and overemphasised dive on the hold is likely the deciding factor for the referee to wave play on…Repeat offender Bastian Schweinsteiger somehow avoids a caution for his late challenge on Algeria’s Saphir Taider…Algeria coach Vahid Halihodzic is off the bench after a soft foul call on Slimani who Ricci judged to have fouled Benedikt Howedes. Yellow Cards: 2, Fouls: 30


Match 51, PEDRO PROENCA (Portugal), Netherlands 2, Mexico 1We can’t give referee Proenca a good review due to his glaring errors on two legitimate penalty kick appeals by both teams. The decisions changed the outcome of the match and were missed by the referee form Portugaland his assistants. However, Proenca’s final decision to award Netherlands their game-deciding penalty kick in injury time was the right one…In the 20th minute Mexico’s Hector Herrera attempted to control the ball in the Netherlands penalty area but was clearly kicked in the head by Ron Vlaar as the defender cleared the ball away. The correct decision would have been a penalty kick and a red card for Vlaar but as has been the theme, referees at this tournament continue to ignore high boots and the serious risks of head injuries and concussion…Moments before halftime Netherlands striker Arjen Robben dribbled into the box towards goal and was clearly tripped up by Rafael Marquez and then also became the victim of a late challenge by Hector Moreno who was injured on the play. To the disbelief of the Dutch, Proenca waved play-on and denied the penalty-kick appeals….Proenca finally got it right in the second minute of injury time when Robben was tripped again by Marquez as he dribbled the ball to the goal line and then cut towards the goal. Fierce protest from El-Tri and their fans as video review clearly shows that Robben over-accentuated the foul but the call was the right decision as he was clearly tripped on the play…Intense heat and humidity in Fortaleza forced two water breaks in the 30th and 75th minutes which precipitated the six extra minutes of injury time at the end of the match…In the 57th minute goal-line technology was used to determine Netherlands’ Stefan de Vrij did not score a goal when his shot was deflected onto the post by Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. The technology backed up the ruling by Proenca that the ball did not cross the line. Yellow Cards: 3, Fouls: 20

Match 52, BEN WILLIAMS (Australia) Costa Rica 1, Greece 1 (Costa Rica wins 5-3 on penalty kicks): In only his third match of the World Cup Williams issued his second and third red cards of the tournament and flashed 8 yellow cards in a physical confrontation that was decided on penalty kicks…Costa Rica’s Oscar Duarte was shown his first yellow card in the 43rd minute for putting the hold on Lazaros Christodoulopoulos and then was issued his second yellow and thus red card in the 60th minute for his late slide tackle on Jose Cholevas…Greece coach Fernando Santos was also shown a red card at the completion of extra time after a heated argument with Williams…Some ugly fouls including the continued late challenges and cheap shots to Costa Rican forward Joel Campbell were a sickening aspect of this game which precipitated the escalation of hostilities… Despite several assaults on Campbell, Williams did finally book Andreas Samaris for his cynical tackle on Campbell in the 36th minute… A delibertate body check by Georgios Karagounis to Campbell just outside the Greece penalty area led to a dangerous free kick for Costa Rica but surprisingly led to no yellow card from Williams…Meanwhile Kostas Manolas took Campbell down in the 72nd minute with a horrific challenge which easily could have been a straight red card but only drew a yellow card from Williams…The referee also missed a blatant handball by Vasileios Torosidis in the 54th minute when the defender batted a swirling pass out of the air with his raised arm but the offence was not spotted by Williams or either of his two linesmen…Williams had a slow start to discipline in the match but an early card or two may have seen the foul and caution total in this match at a much lower number. By the early portion of the second half the cards began to flow freely with Costa Rica backup defender Esteban Grandos even going into the to the books from the substitutes bench in the 56th minute. Red Cards: 2, Yellow Cards: 8; Fouls: 38


Match 49, HOWARD WEBB, Brazil 0, Chile 0 (Brazil wins 3-2 on penalty kicks): A far from flawless outing for Premier League referee Howard Webb but nonetheless a reasonably competent showing in Brazil’s foul-filled penalty-kicks victory over Chile. Maintaining order in this feisty affair would have been a challenge for any top official. Webb dished out seven yellow cards and a tournament high 51 fouls, albeit with 30 minutes of extra time. Overall he maintained order in a match marked by a high degree of off the ball fouls, theatrics and play acting by both teams…One of Webb’s biggest mistakes during the match came towards the end during the penalty kicks tiebreaker. Webb and his linesmen failed to spot Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar moving in a forward motion to stop Mauricio Panilla on the first of his two penalty-kicks saves. This gave Brazil a huge advantage after Cesar stopped Chile again on their second attempt when Cesar legally thwarted Gonzalo Jara with a fine save …Webb made the correct call in disallowing Hulk’s 55th minute strike on a handball call but handed out an undeserved yellow card for the offence as there was no intent by the Brazilian forward to handle the ball…Brazil defender David Luiz somehow escapes getting a yellow card after yanking down Chile forward Alexis Sanchez at the midfield stripe with a two-handed pull…A possible flashpoint that went unchecked: Webb has his back turned at the halftime interval when Fred of Brazil walks\ed up to Chile’s Gary Medel and cuffed him on the back of the head. While nothing came of it, the incident was  an indication that the tradition of bad blood between the two rivals would continue throughout the match despite the best attempts of the officials to apply the laws of the game. Yellow Cards: 7, Fouls: 51

Match 50, BJORN KUIPERS (Netherlands), Colombia 2,  Uruguay 0The stronger of the two referee performances on Match Day 16 by the official from the Netherlands however Kuipers again showed us his overly-liberal interpretation of the offside rule…Colombia’s Teofilo Gutierrez is clearly in an offside position on his team’s second goal by virtue being behind the last defender before the cross is played.  Video replay shows Gutierrez standing in the six yard box behind the last man and also in close enough proximity to the cross to goal scorer James Rodriguez to be interfering with play. Thus there is no question Colombia’s second goal should have been disallowed but we have seen this interpretation of the offside rule by Kuipers before, who seems to feel only the player who receives the ball can be offside…Kuipers handed out three yellow cards during the match and all seemed justified… Guitierrz had his feet swept under him by Jose Gimenez of Uruguay who was cautioned in the 55th minute…Two yellow cards are handed out by Kuipers during a flashpoint in the 77th minute. The first to Pablo Armero of Colombia who attempts to halt play by standing in front of a Uruguay free kick after suffering a cramp. Gaston Ramirez of Uruguay should have gone into the books for taking the kick and intentionally blasting the ball into Armero,  but instead his teammate Diego Lugano is issued a yellow card by Kuipers for dissent while sitting on the substitutes bench. Yellow Cards: 3, Fouls: 36




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

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