FanDuel - WFBC

June 23, 2006

Exit Poll: English referee Graham Poll seems likely to be sent home after a terrible performance in the game between Australia and Croatia, in which the experienced EPL official made a series of bad calls, including giving three yellow cards to Croatian Josip Simunic.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said the failure of the four officials to communicate was like a black out.

posted by Mr Bismarck to soccer at 07:58 AM - 17 comments

wat is with all these terrible refs in this world cup? Didnt FIFA want to cut down on games where the refs hurt the teams chances 2 move on?

posted by BestofbothWorlds at 08:17 AM on June 23

3 yellow cards is pretty ridiculous. I would think that in the spirit of "fair play", Simunic should have taken himself off after the second yellow.

posted by blarp at 09:26 AM on June 23

I was hoping Simunic would score between his second and third cards. There you go, Mr Blatter, sort that one out.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:39 AM on June 23

I saw plenty of times during the EPL season and found his work consistently good, this is pretty surprising. Plus, with the refs wired together, why didn't one of his assistants speak up?

posted by billsaysthis at 10:32 AM on June 23

That was Blatter's point, Bill - with the system they have now, why didn't one of the three wired assistants say something?

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:43 AM on June 23

I was watching the (recorded version of the) game yesterday and I couldn't figure out why the announcer (and show producers who brought up the yellow+yellow=red graphic) said he was out of the game, but the ref didn't indicate it. The announcer (not sure which one, but I love listening to all three British guys they have on the SportsNet/TSN simulcast) was rendered virtuallyy speechless when Simunic stayed on the pitch. He didn't press the issue any further (as the game was more interesting than his own opinion...are you listening, North American announcers?!), but when Simunic finally did get tossed, the announcer seemed almost relieved.

posted by grum@work at 12:25 PM on June 23

The Guardian said had Australia been denied points needed to qualify they would have had clear grounds for a replay. Also, Poll blew the final whistle just as Australia scored the 3-2 goal, which was disallowed. Was he even watching the game? Simple answer to the Poll: he choked. Athletes do it, why not refs?

posted by rumple at 12:45 PM on June 23

But Beckham said the ref is a "nice person". Shouldn't that count for something? I hope the refs get taken to task. There's too much at stake to allow incompetent (likely) or simply error-prone (charitably) refs to monitor the big games. What is the problem with allowing two on-field refs for games? It's a big goddamned field, and they miss lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of calls due to dives.

posted by vito90 at 12:49 PM on June 23

The Grauniad's minute-by-minute noted that the British commentators were doing the whole 'isn't it good to have an English Referee™, not one of those foreigners' thing, until Poll started fucking up. I've seen him ref matches in the Premier League. He does have some shockers. He won't officiate again in Germany unless FIFA has a brain meltdown. Also, Poll blew the final whistle just as Australia scored the 3-2 goal, which was disallowed. Was he even watching the game? Oh, it's happened before.

posted by etagloh at 02:32 PM on June 23

When I saw Poll was nominated for the game, I thought "Good, an English referee". I took it back about 10 minutes later when Simunic rugby tackled Viduka in the box and nothing was awarded. It then got progressively worse. He missed another handball in the Croatian area and the yellow card/full time goal thing just about topped off his worst day on the job, I would think. Luckily it didn't affect the qualification from the group. A bit like the poor old Egyptian ref who apologised for allowing Japan's goal against Australia in the first game. He thanked God that it didn't affect the final result. But there goes Poll's chances of reffing the final. Note: Joe Simunic was born in Canberra and went to the Australian Institute of Sport. He must have hung out too much with the rugger-buggers.

posted by owlhouse at 04:40 PM on June 23

Enough about htis official...did anyone see the Korea-Swiss game? Man, that whole officiating crew blew blew the game on that "goal" scored in the 77th minute. Granted props to the Swiss players for keeping the play alive b/c of a lack of whistle, but doesn't raising a flag mean something too? Sigh...granted I was hanging with a largely Korean partisan group watching the game...I felt the Korean team was cheated there... Still doubt it would have made a difference, the Swiss D was just so INCREDIBLE. Korea had a lot of chances to win but that Swiss D just collapsed on them each time.

posted by chemwizBsquared at 05:42 PM on June 23

Man, that whole officiating crew blew blew the game on that "goal" scored in the 77th minute. I knew it was a bad idea to have Apolo Ohno referee that game. The shot of the goal being scored with the upraised offsides flag in the background was priceless.

posted by rcade at 05:45 PM on June 23

The shot of the goal being scored with the upraised offsides flag in the background was priceless. It's definitely funny, but it was also definitely the correct call. The ball was redirected by the Korean player, therefore the Swiss player was not offside. The linesman didn't see WHO redirected the ball, he just noticed that the ball was originally kicked by a Swiss player and was heading in th3 direction of a player in an offside position. He didn't see the redirection because there was a player in his line of sight when it was redirected. The linesman did no wrong and the referee was right in letting the play go on. The fault lies with the Korean players who stopped moving. There was no whistle, so there was no reason to give up on the play. That's one of the main points I learned when I played soccer: play until you hear the whistle.

posted by grum@work at 10:42 PM on June 23

Correct, grum. The linesman (or assistant referee as they are now called) DOES NOT MAKE THE DECISION. He (or she) is there only to advise the referee. Play the whistle is one of the golden rules of football.

posted by owlhouse at 05:58 AM on June 24

wat is with all these terrible refs in this world cup? Let's just get this straight. Poll is not a terrible ref though this was a terrible mistake. Is the ref supposed to specify the player booked to the other officials? I'd be surprised if he is. The linesmen have their own job to do. And it wouldn't happen in most professional games, which don't have these levels of technology.

posted by squealy at 06:49 PM on June 24

Is the ref supposed to specify the player booked to the other officials I'd hope that would be one of the jobs of the fourth official, along with holding up that substitution and added time sign that no-one can read. Surely the fourth official is keeping track and could have alerted Poll. What the hell is the headset for? Listening to Coldplay?

posted by owlhouse at 08:22 PM on June 24

Yeah owlhouse I'd agree that the fourth official (or even the fifth one at this World Cup) should have been keeping track of things. I said official when I meant to specify the linesmen who really shouldn't also have to keep track of who has or hasn't been booked on top of their main duties. It's been a long tournament.

posted by squealy at 03:15 AM on June 25

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