Cyprus Mail
World Cup

Have referees lost the plot?

The standard of refereeing has come under scrutiny at the tournament

“Farcical and shambolic.” Alan Shearer on the World Cup 2018

Sayings like ‘they couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery’ come to mind when FIFA are mentioned. A combination of inconsistent use of VAR and incompetent refereeing and FIFA’s unwillingness to make any comment or act correctly, simply put is a disgrace.

It is a nice notion for the World Cup to have referees representing countries from around the globe but should there not be professional standards as some of them look as if they usually referee pub football matches. Did the referee for the Argentina v Croatia game swallow the pea from his whistle and had nobody told him what VAR was, as Argentina could easily have been reduced to nine players or less.

Double standards and the failure to apply clear FIFA rules is sad. Should ‘big name’ players be afforded different treatment to the others?

The Cristiano Ronaldo clash against Iran is a typical example. Either he hit the defender or he didn’t. If he is judged to have hit the player then it is a red card, if not it is nothing. What is the yellow card all about …..a fudge?

But it WAS Cristiano Ronaldo and a straight red would probably have ended the World Cup for him and Portugal. Did the referee ‘bottle it’ as the English press suggested?

Then there were the numerous other dubious incidents involving Gerard Pique or Javier Mascherano or Nicolas Otamendi or Jerome Boateng etc. etc.

Are we to go back to the days of Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris at Chelsea or Norman Hunter at Leeds United or could the added pressure on the referees of VAR cause them to lose their concentration at key moments?

Then we have the awarding of penalty kicks which are being given out more freely than condoms at the Olympics.

“A penalty is a cowardly way to score.” Pele

Has the amount of fouls committed to concede penalties been a sign of some deterioration of playing standards at the World Cup or have referees lost the plot and control of games?

Why are there no referees representing the Premier league in which most of the world’s top footballers have played in, are playing in or would like to play in?

Personally I am sick of the amount of penalties being awarded and the inconsistency in the decision making.

And finally there is the issue of the alleged political gestures made by three of the Swiss players. FIFA’s slap on the wrist and token fine sends out a very bad signal.

Was it political or not and if so the full punishment must be applied, not forgetting it was an incorrect refereeing decision that qualified Switzerland for the World Cup in the first place and FIFA again made no comment or any attempt to right the wrong.

Anyway ranting aside what has happened has happened and it is only right that all necessary steps are taken immediately to ensure that an end can be brought to the farcical and shambolic situations.

Russia have proved to be amazing hosts and football has to be the winner in the world’s biggest competition.

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