Thursday, 14 June 2018

2018 FIFA World Cup Match 1: Russia - Saudi Arabia (discussion)

Let's discuss here the performance of Néstor Pitana in Russia - Saudi Arabia. Good luck to the officiating team! 

Moscow, 14 June 2018 17:00 CET
Russia - Saudi Arabia
Referee: Néstor Pitana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Hernan Maidana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Fourth Official: Sandro Ricci (BRA)
Fifth Official: Emerson de Carvalho (BRA)
VAR: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
AVAR1: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
AVAR 2: Carlos Astroza (CHI)
AVAR3: Daniele Orsato (ITA)

124 comments:

  1. Hope he still has a chance for the final after getting the opener. Seems like a small chance of getting both.

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    1. His countryman Horacio Elizondo managed this unique feat in Germany 2006. So it's possible.

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  2. Good luck to all officials! I haven’t been able to read a lot in last weeks... are the VARs in a room in the stadiums? Or is there a remote control room like in Bundesliga?

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    1. A remote control room, in Moscow, for all games.

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  3. Do you know why Pitana is whistling before every corner?

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    1. It is used by some referees, also here in Italy. Whistling to indicate a corner. I know that in other countries it is not used.

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    2. Because he is Pitana. Extremely unique referee.

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  4. Does not seem a clear foul. IMO correct goal.

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  5. what kind of whistle does pitana use?

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    1. He uses a Molten Valkeen Whistle, as you can see clearly on this picture from the referees training:

      https://media.gettyimages.com/photos/argentine-referee-nestor-pitana-during-a-training-session-ahead-of-picture-id972394356?s=612x612

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    2. However Pitana and quite a few other South American Referee's use a unique technique to hold and blow the whistle. Thus the different sounding tone. I've tried to recreate the tone with my whistles. But I've never been able to get it. :D

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    3. As Sheriff said, it's about the technique. You should put the fingers in the holes on the whistle. Clattenburg is doing that:)

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    4. Pitana doesn’t put the fingers in the holes. Molten won’t make that sound then...
      www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pfqGG2ANnQ

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  6. Missed offside by AR2...kind of clear

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    1. A product of the instructions around VAR. But this AR took it way too far. And it led to head injuries.

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  7. Terrible decision to keep that flag down.

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  8. Correct wait and see by AR2 in 15‘. Offside was called with a certain delay.

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    1. Pitana restarted the game with an IDFK, so AR2 was aware of the offside position. Correct application of the instructions, although in clear situations like this one the flag could have been raised immediately.

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    2. Look at AR's hands. He moved the flag to the right hand

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    3. It was 1,5 meter offside. Nothing to do with wait and see. He simply missed blatant offside. VAR called for an offside.

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    4. It was not a "correct" application of the instructions. That was not close enough to warrant wait and see, full stop.

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    5. You don't have to be that arrogant, full stop.

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  9. Doubts about the goal. Video doesn't help us. We must trust VAR.
    Commentators are reporting that player fell alone.
    Also, in 6' a potential penalty to KSA. I think correct decision by Pitana but I would have liked a replay.
    In both situations VAR was very quick, game was never stopped.
    A few minutes ago a missed offside by AR2: maybe he didn't signal it because it was a very promising action, but once goal was not scored he had to raise the flag in any case.

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    1. We got replays here. And the Saudi player did indeed stumble over his own feet as he was backpedaling.

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    2. AR spotted offside position but he didn't signal it, 200%

      The play was restarted eith IFK, so offside was awarded.

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  10. I understand the directive given to the AR's in reference to keeping the flag down on possible but hard to decipher offside offenses. But when they're pretty clear as was Fernandes'. Shouldn't the AR flag it? Or did AR2 simply miss that one?

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  11. I dont like this with offside. AR2 put his flag in right hand, he knew it was offside, but Collina said keep flag down... It was 1 meter- obvious offside

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    1. He didnt miss that you can see that he put flag in right hand to call offside

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    2. We may understand that subtle movement. But what about the masses? When an offside is pretty clear and obvious. Put the flag up, right?

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    3. IMO, he should raise flag immediately...

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    4. @Sheriff
      Yes.
      For clear and obvious offside the flag goes up.
      Previous situation was obvious only on the TV, live it wasnt that obvious, belive me.

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    5. Maybe we can say that Belatti tried to follow the directive, but in this case should've raised the flag immediateley

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    6. He signaled offside immediately few minutes before. And he did that now in 29 minute again. He didn't wait then and in both situations it was much smaller offside. So, he missed the one in 15', I am pretty sure.

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    7. My friend, everytime AR is in a doubt, he should keep the flag down. That's something subjective, depending on personal perception (AR)

      On TV it can be either 0.1 meter or 1 meter.

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    8. @He spotted offside, the play was restarted with IFK.
      Also, look at AR's hands and his gesticulation, body language :)

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    9. As somebody mentioned above. By not raising the flag on a pretty clear offside (live & on replay) and allowing play to continue. It led to a preventable clash of heads.

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  12. 35' in my opinion, without watching the replay, simulation.
    Ok to play on, but I think missed YC.

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    1. Replay was shown: No penalty, no card. Correct decision.

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    2. Hm, now better replay. There was a dive.

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  13. I am not happy with TV broadcast. No good replays so far, or no replays at all. I don't think director understands football.

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    1. I agree, the same here. Hopefully it will be managed better for next matches.

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    2. I get that this is how FIFA wants it. We're accustomed to seeing multiple replays from multiple angles. So when we get little to nothing. It's certainly is odd.

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    3. Like the 90’s and beginning of the 00’s. No replays means less situations to talk about. It’s good for the public. Less hate against refs.

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    4. Yes and no Victor. Because at times replays can actually serve to remove a lingering doubt.

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  14. Why not YC for KSA player who made foul before penalty appeal (Pitana gave advantage)

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    1. I think it's a matter of acceptance. Would've been the first YC in the game and the next stop in play was about 1.30 min after the incident.

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    2. It's still the 1st half of the match. Much like 4 years ago. We're not going to see many cards given in the 1st half of matches. I personally don't like the directive. But it is what it is.

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    3. The only reason for YC would have been stopping promising attack, but the attack went on so he didn't stop it. So no YC.

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    4. I agree, but if we want to strictly follow rules it is more than clear YC.

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    5. That's the issue here. The Law's of the Game are not being followed closely by directive and instruction.

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    6. You are correct Yannick Mahieu. If you play advantage on a careless foul for SPA you cannot go back and caution because the promising attack wasn't stopped because you played advantage. If only all referees understood that.

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  15. OT: In your respective countries, do they have a referee providing live commentary? If that do, who do they have? Here in the USA on the Spanish broadcast, they the only Referee to open and close a FIFA World Cup. Horacio Elizondo.

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    1. In Croatia, we have referee expert in TV studio before match, on half time and after match.

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    2. In the Netherlands we also have a referee in TV studio

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    3. Nobody in TV broadcast, only in radio. (Spain, Mediaset)

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    4. Eriksson in Sweden(for the most of the games)

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    5. In Germany, one of the broadcasters has Urs Meier as referee expert, who sometimes joins before or after the match.
      During live commentary, there are no experts (it's usual in Germany to only have one commentator per match).

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    6. Clattenburg in the studio in the UK for this match

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    7. "Expert" Dejan Nedic: Nestor PINATA :-)))) Twice... Afterwards, he finally got it right :-)))

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    8. Mateo Beusan in Croatia always misses ref's name. Kuipers is Kupiers every single time :)

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    9. Dejan Nedic calls him Kjupers :-)))

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  16. No big incidents for Pitana at half-time.

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  17. Pitana is the taller man on the pitch, he looks like a giant compared to players. So, I fully agree what Collina said on media briefing. Nobody wants to make him anger :D

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    1. The same type of respect, command, and presence that Kim Milton Neilson and Anders Frisk had because of their height. And of course they were very good referee's. Ah the good ol' days.

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    2. He was, until Dzyuba entered the pitch.

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  18. Easy and calm first half for Pitana. Nevertheless, he seems very concentrated and tries to act preventively. Solid performance so far.

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  19. AR2 is always using flag in right hand so i dont belive he wanted to flag offside. Offside was 1.5m and when player received the ball he didnt even flag it. VAR should only work for tight offside not for 1.5m offsides.

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    1. I am referee and they always told us to use flag in left hand when running from centre to goal. In Croatian 1st league ARs also. Same is also in UCL if I am not wrong

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    2. You should always have flag in left hand. Thats what they're teaching us in Serbia.

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    3. The flag should be visible for the referee at all the time. So when running to the end of the pitch he should have it in his ledt hand. Should be standard in case of comunications systems fails


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  20. As always: Pitana with his impressive body-language a d crystalclear instructions. I love it.

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    1. I am always impressed by his physical abilities that he presents on the pitch. He's always near play. He's a goal line to goal line referee. Not afraid to run deep into the penalty box or deep into the corners when needed. And yet still physically able to recover and be with play on counter attacks. Impressive Pitana!

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    2. He’s also using a different running thenique compared to the most other referees

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    3. Yes he is very fit for a big man and did extremely well to both keep up with play on counter attacks and to anticipate the next phase.

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  21. In second half, definitely a more than easy task for Pitana.
    Game is already decided.

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  22. Pretty easy game for Pitana. Tomorrow there will probably be more intensive games, at leats for Rocchi

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  23. Last match without YC on World Cup was Spain-Germany semifinal in 2010 (Viktor Kassai).

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    1. Just a few minutes before this record...

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    2. This record wont be broken today :)

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    3. Record goes out of the window :(

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    4. No record ;-) YC in 87‘ for holding. Not mandatory, but acceptable.

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  24. Quiet day for the much anticipated VAR :D

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    1. Calm before the storm 🤔😃?

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    2. I am waiting whole match for some big VAR intervention (RC, PK) :)

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    3. Hopefully won't be any VAR storm tomorrow for the 3 UEFA refs who are set to be in action :D

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  25. YC was not mandatory, supportable but in the overall context of the game, I expected only the foul to be whistled.
    However, definitely no problems.

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    1. Maybe for many fouls by the same player?

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  26. Excellent onside before 4-0.

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  27. Gol was checked by VAR. VAR has been always quick in this game.
    For sure, an excellent start of the tournament.
    Now another correct YC.

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  28. Body language and gestures before last goal are fantastic... :)

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    1. Is this what Mateu Lahoz tries to imitate? :D

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    2. That's a really goodone. With compliments... :-)))

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  29. The first game has ended and I think committee can be satisfied.
    Expected level by Pitana. Of course this was not a challenging game and one could say that Pitana was a wrong choice... but committee didn't want to have any trouble.
    For sure, we will have more challenging and interesting games, but the first day has been a success.

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    1. Complete waste of an appointment... Even Roldan or Bascunan could've refereed this with no problems!!

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  30. Easy game for Pitana. He can be very happy about his good performance. More matches will follow, that's sure.
    Now we're waiting for being provided with the names of the VARs for the games tomorrow.

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  31. I think this is what we want to see at world cup. Great Pitana today. Full control of the match, good fitness, excellent body language and, of course, a solid foul detection. But to be honest, it was an easy game, however he can be proud of thìs performance and can go confident to the next match.

    VAR also worked well in the background, big improvement comparing to last years confed cup.

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    1. His prevention into the last minutes was most impressive IMO, full concentration, sensible to open the cards even though it wasn't explicitly necessary according to LOTG, managed irritated players well at the end. Eminently common-sensical from first minute to last.

      The refereeing after day one has had a better resonance this time, compared to Brazil - Croatia four years ago.
      8,4 from me for Pitana.

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    2. Pitana makes games easy for him by showing passion and smiles to the players. He dares to be different. He is used to very tough matches like derby matchesin Argentina so this is too easy for him.

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  32. Would this be better?
    When a PK is called by the Ref, VAR always checks the foul. If NO, drop ball somewhere.
    When a PK is missed by the Ref, players can hands raise their challenge (limited number of times, like tennis). If YES, PK, else IFK to the other team.

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    1. Just any player or does it need to be the captain or manager?
      Is there a time limit to calling for their challenge?
      How many challenges do teams get?
      What if a player claims for a penalty however his captain doesn't think it should be challenged - yet a different angle shows it should have been a penalty?

      The only difference between what we have now and a challenge system, is that if the referee got a major decision wrong but a team didn't challenge, the VAR wouldn't say anything.

      There is also a danger of teams using challenges to delay disrupt play, like in tennis.

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  33. https://twitter.com/reinerkuhn1982/status/1007321931207663617
    See who was there, too... :)

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    1. I think that almost all referees were there watching the opener... apart from the officials busy today (VAR) and tomorrow...

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    2. Yes, all the refs except refs appointed for tommorow matches.

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    3. Referees base is in or around Moscow so I expect them to be watching almost every game in Moscow if they are not busy with their own matches!

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  34. Some clips of today's opening game:

    6' - no replay was shown for this situation. On the clip it rather seems as if the ball hits the chest rather than the hand, if I see it correctly.
    https://streamable.com/thw5a

    15' - delayed offside. I did cut the video split-seconds too short. If you stop it at the very end of the clip, you can see how Pitana keeps his arm raised. I think he might signal here the offside, which explains why he restarted play with an IDFK.
    https://streamable.com/7gk9c

    35' - advantage + penalty appeal. I think here a YC had to be awarded after the advantage, if you ask me.
    https://streamable.com/ibn8o

    90+1' - Tight onside/offside in the build-up of 4-0. I guess the player was onside, otherwise we would have seen VAR intervene, I guess.
    https://streamable.com/j193t

    Overall a positive and encouraging opening match of the World Cup in terms of refereeing. Pitana's gestures and mimic might sometimes have looked odd and theatralic at times, but they have helped him a lot in terms of prevention.

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    1. Do you have any more clips by any chance? For the cautions or any other moments

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    2. YC Golovin
      https://streamable.com/h1h9p

      YC Al-Jassim
      https://streamable.com/yi5io

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  35. Hi Guys, first of all i would like to repeat what everyone has said here after the game: Good performance from pitana, all the big points were decided correctly. But - and in follow this board for years no and i know and i think there are a lot of guys here who have a great knowledge about refereeing on top level - i would ask you: What do you think about pitanas body language, which picture made he on the field? Therefore please have a review of the first 20 minutes. When we want to discuss refereeing on world class level this must be mentioned here.

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    1. His body language is unbelievable and shows no lack of uncertainty. He show great confidence and he is very preventative during free kicks and corner kicks. He is a real display of how body language can change a match and make it calm and nice. My opinion but nobody can match his body language.

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  36. But i meant his bodylanguage an behavior in this game.

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  37. Can you make some clips not only about match incidents but also about his body language?

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  38. The discussion about Pitana's body language is really an interesting one. And it might be a bit polarizing:

    Pitana profits A LOT from his natural authority on an optical level. He communicates with the aid of his physical presence, his outward appearance. As Collina stated, he is like a rocket, looks a bit like a 'pitbull'. Players will not start to argue with him a lot, at least not on a World Cup level where most teams specially from Eastern cultures do not argue with authorities much. This made him succeed in most of his World Cup games so far. If Black Pete approaches Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse off, they won't argue that much. :-) Of course I overdraw this image consciously, I think you get the message. And the difference is: Pitana is even able to smile, and have a chat with players. His behaviour is very widely ranged.

    Is his body language sophisticated on a technical, mechanical level? In my opinion the answer is no. His gestures were at times overly used, not very clear, and making a slightly exaggerated, overly eager impression (tendency / risk: being perceived as hectical, self-centred, irritating). It was a bit too much, e.g. at corners.

    So in my personal view, is it virtuosity, is it elegance and is it absolute calmness and solidity he displays by his technical body language? No.

    Is it calmness, stability, credibility, presence and assertiveness he displays by his optical impression, outward appearance and physical presence? Yes. And this makes him succeed!

    Good performance in a not so challenging match. Decisions mostly spot-on, sometimes not so lucky with late / delayed decisions. Some free-kicks could have been avoided (like jumping in min 88' or so, ball would have gone to the goalkeeper anyway and he whistles a minor foul 70m away from the opposite goal). Good assistants, AR2 - as mentioned above - took the VAR-waiting procedure a bit too literal. Correct penalty area decisions as well.
    However, I think he can work on his technical body language to even make a more composed impression in games where more hot fuel is in it.

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    1. I very much agree with that comment.
      For me his verbal warnings are also a bit over the top, especially when used several times during the match.
      It works well for match control, but he certainly does not remain "invisible", which might be possible in such rather easy-going matches.
      But that is rather a matter of taste than a point for improvement.

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    2. Excellent analysis!

      From my view, Pitana is the combination of:
      * A typical CONMEBOL referee from some years ago (who is not that modern) with very idiosyncratic gestures which might not reach sophisticated targets, relying on a "I can p*ss higher up the wall than you" style" style
      * Realising his strengths (his bodily optic, his very natural authority)
      * Realising the trend of Massimo Busacca's FIFA, knowing that he can adapt to it, to try and reach WC Final

      And I think Pitana had the right idea, he has quite big chances for the WC Final this time.

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