Only 4 matches to be played on next days and then this tournament will be over. So far, after 60 games, the level of officiating is still high. But there is a big point for discussion regarding Quarterfinals...
|Néstor Pitana (ARG) officiated the first game of Quarterfinals|
Néstor Pitana, Milorad Mažić, Björn Kuipers and Sandro Ricci have been appointed by FIFA committee to handle Quarterfinals at 2018 World Cup. Overall, the level of officiating has kept a very good standard. There is only one situation in which, according to my opinion, the third clear mistake of this tournament, despite of VAR presence, has been committed. However, given the very high number of played matches until today (60), it has been for sure a success so far. Referees, in most of the games, look to be always in control, without having troubles in being accepted. That's very good.
We can start again with Pitana, who officiated the opener of the tournament, and did the same in occasion of the first game of this round: the clash between Uruguay and France ended with the win of European team. The Argentinian kept control without problems: the most interesting situation, under refereeing point of view, occurred in the middle of second half, when, after a moment of tension between two players, a mass confrontation started. Pitana tried to calm down players by using his experience, then after that he booked one player from both teams. This was a good management, according to my opnion, considering also the guidelines by committee. Nothing else to be reported in an overall fair game.
The second game of Quarterfinals, a CONMEBOL - UEFA clash involving Brazil and Belgium, has been always under the full control of Milorad Mažić. We have appreciated for sure the experience of the Serbian, who has also managed with charisma very "difficult" players from both teams, by never losing control, and being always respected in his choice. He correctly rejected some minor penalty appeals by Brazilian side, however, and this was a significant issue, a penalty incident occurred in the 56' minute was very likely missed by referee, who didn't make any signal if not the one for assigning goal-kick, following a challange by a Belgian defender on an opponent in the box. Our readers have already voted, giving their opinion. In this occasion, I want to present the results: 262 readers think that it was a clear penalty and so VAR had to intervene, for 190 people it was a situation in which play on was possible, while only 104 votes were given about the chance to consider it as a clear NO FOUL, and therefore correct play on. In my opinion, this was a clear penalty, the significant contact occurred when ball was still in play. There was a big discussion in VAR room, according to the video we were allowed to watch, at the end the main VAR, Daniele Orsato, maybe after a consultation with the other VAR members, decided to inform referee that he could have continued the game. I disagree with this decision and I think this was a clear mistake, the third of the tournament after GER - SWE and SRB - SUI. However, apart from this incident, the performance was absolutely good.
Björn Kuipers has been in charge of Sweden - England. He has not experienced troubles, showing again his top class officiating, being respected by players. The only point for discussion in this game has been an offside flag by AR1, in first half, when score was still 0-0, against Sweden. This was a mistake, however, since the situation had occurred in the midfield, the same AR can't be blamed too much in terms of VAR protocol, he was not forced to wait before waiting the flag, players were still too far away from the goal. However, the wrong assessment stays, but if this was the only "problem" of the game, you can understand how much good was the rest.
Last officiating of this round has been performed by Sandro Ricci in Russia - Croatia, another full European clash. The Brazilian has been the first referee to officiate again a same team in this tournament, after having already taken control of a group stage game in which Croatia was there. The game has been always under full control as well, with a very crucial call before Russia's equalizer during extra time A clear deliberate handball was well spotted, and then a goal was scored on the subsequent free kick. Well done by referee. Cards issued have been good choices. The Brazilian has been always in control.
Now it's your turn. Please vote for the best officiating of Quarterfinal.
Poll will be closed on 09/07/18 at 09:00 CET.
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