This is a special post just to address the main issues seen in the Group A games. Not the beautiful football played by the teams but the appalling decisions taken by the officials. Yes, FIFA has installed Goal Line Technology which takes a bit of the pressure off, yes they have introduced a vanishing spray for line markings. But seeing the performances of Japan’s Yuichi Nishimura in the initial game, and Columbia’s Wilmar Roldan’s team, who is the youngest official in the tournament of a mere age of 34, we can safely say the officiating is not up to the mark.
Let us start with the Brazil game. We will give you one blatant wrong decision and a few which can be contemplated upon. 70 minutes were gone of the game and it seemed the Croats were on course for a draw but the referee had other ideas when he awarded a penalty to Brazil after Dejan Lovren touched Fred in the box. It was a harmless challenge and the world (apart from Brazil) went crazy as to how it could’ve been given. Yuichi is the same referee who was the official in the Netherlands vs Brazil game in 2010, the same who sent Felipe Melo for an shower then. Was he trying to make amends? Anyway, congratulations for the 3-1 win, Brazil. All said and done, he then very coolly disallowed a goal for Croatia for a foul in the box by a Croatian attacker. It was questionable but the benefit of doubt goes to the striker in this case. Next, we see Neymar’s theatrics. Seeing the game, we felt like telling him, “Lad, you’re an amazing player, but please stand up (Slim Shady tone here)!” He goes down for the smallest challenges and if he wants to put himself right up with Pele and Messi, he needs to lose his affinity to the ground and needs to end this relationship he has with the gravitational forces.
Next we have game 2, between Mexico and Cameroon. After the first game, we all expected the refereeing to be better. But alas! This time out, we see 3 goals disallowed for Mexico for offside but in reality it was Onside, onside and onside. How many do you expect a team to score? Congratulations to Mexico for winning that game 1-0 and winning their first ever game versus an African opposition at the World Cup Finals. Mention to Oribe Peralta who scored the goal. Opta Joe tells us that Oribe Peralta has scored nine goals in his last seven competitive appearances for Mexico
We’d like to mention Nicola Rizzoli, who gave Spain a penalty in their game versus The Netherlands. An arguable decision which could’ve gone either way, we do give the benefit of the doubt to the referee this time. Moreover, the officials for the Switzerland vs Ecuador game came under a lot of criticism after a linesman disallowed a Swiss goal in the 70th minute for a wrong offside call. Had Switzerland not scored after that, a lot more would’ve been said about that howler.
We’d also like to mention the bad decision by the referee in the Germany vs Portugal game, who did not award a penalty to Portugal after Mats Hummels very clearly brought Eder down with a late challenge. He also kept getting in the way of German balls, perhaps he was sympathizing with Portugal.
After seeing these games, we researched, being IB students and we have found excerpts of an interview for referees by a certain football governing body. It goes like this:
– Hi, sir.
– I would like to be appointed to the list of 2014 Brasil World Cup referees.
– Are you blind?
– Welcome aboard!*
To sum up, we urge Sepp Blatter and his team to improve the officials appointed and instead of making them learn swear words in 14 different languages, make them learn the rules of the game they are so effortlessly tainting. We also acknowledge the fact that all referees are humans and all humans may err, but if you’re at that level, at such a stage, please be slightly more alert and decisive.
Disclaimer*: The excerpt is purely fictional. Any resemblance to a certain Non Profit Organization who has a $1 billion as a reserve and evades taxes is purely co-incidental. We mean no offence or disrespect. They do organize our favourite sporting event.