Anastásios Papapétrou, Republic of Ireland - Czechia

Anastasios Papapetrou was assigned to what was actually a play off for the semi final. Each team, in case of win and Norway not winning the other game, would have reached 2nd place and thus get to the semi. Therefore an important game for the Greek referee. Ireland scored in the first half, Czech Republic thought they could survive by levelling at 79’ with a lovely goal, but their chances lasted only 2 minutes, with Ireland taking the lead again at 81’.

The teams played fair and in the end 22 fouls were whistled, 10 against Ireland and 12 against Czech Republic. Papapetrou’s foul detection was almost faultless - I could only note a wrong FK at 89’ - otherwise a very precise application of the LotG by the referee regarding the assessment of contacts and tackles.

In particular, I will post a few clips regarding a few crucial incidents:

30’ penalty appeal IRL - the GK clearly takes the ball, no penalty correct

35’ goal IRL - correct no foul before the goal
to be mentioned that the referee did not signal any advantage, so he considered the contact fair from both players

70’ penalty appeal IRL - correct play on. Given the contact that occurred in the upper body I think we can accept no YC for simulation to the Irish player.

Replay

Besides this, the thread I would like to follow for the rest of the analysis is prevention and communication, which was the most critical aspect in this game. I believe Papapetrou demonstrated he has a good potential in this respect, however his approach was debatable at several points and overall lacked consistency. In particular, it looked like the referee thought the game could heat up more than it actually was, especially in the last minutes. The increased pedantic approach he chose after Czech Republic equalised actually made the players angrier and did not make him appreciated, despite keeping a good level of acceptance.

4’ free kick and verbal warning to IRL #9:
This was the first verbal warning. Maybe the replay was covering some gestures by Afolabi, but I do not think that his behaviour required a verbal warning.

23’ YC IRL #7
Good timing for card opening, in one of the rare bad tackles of the game. In this case, great authority and card showing

66’ verbal warning
As pointed out by Mikael in his previous report on Papapetrou, we see here how the players were not interested in listening to the referee till the end, not leaving the best impression.

68’ verbal warning (?)
I still don’t know exactly what this situation was about, it looks like a verbal warning for time waste.

71’ verbal warning time waste
IRL #1, the goalkeeper, clearly takes too much to kick the ball. IMO a YC should have been issued here, the verbal warning actually causes even more time loss without any benefit to the Czech team.

89’ YC IRL #4 time wasting
The decision seems very harsh, as we see at the beginning of the video the players are still positioning themselves and the booking occurs only a few seconds afterwards.

90’ YC IRL #9 for dissent
Somehow I understand the booking if we consider that the player had already been warned twice, however it was not the smartest decision since the player was just fouled twice (holding and pushing) and his protests were not really harsh. He will miss the semi final due to this YC.

90+4’ YC CZE #7
Unacceptable reaction from Husek, a 2nd YC for clapping his hands would have been the correct decision. If not a booking at least a stern warning should have been issued. Papapetrou just looked at the player, who understood he was crossing the line and tried to apologise later on with his gestures. The approach was clearly too passive here.

Overall a decent performance by the Greek referee for about 80 minutes, with few points for improvement regarding his communication at some points. His management of the last minutes of the game was debatable, he especially seemed to lose consistency in his assessment of time waste and dissent. Papapetrou is a prospective referee with good fitness and presence, showing great foul detection. He should however refine his communication in order to make it a strength, and pay attention to his disciplinary control in the most crucial stages.

LAW 5 - THE REFEREE BLOG REPORTER:
Osborne

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