FanDuel - WFBC

June 25, 2006

Beckham spills guts for England;: For Holland, clash begins before game with Portugal; brawl ensues. Just another day at the World Cup. Results inside.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY to soccer at 08:24 PM - 51 comments

That Russian ref needs to be red carded and banned from International Football. Heck a lot of the refs in this Cup should be never ever used again.

posted by riffola at 08:38 PM on June 25

I'll second that opinion riffola. The refs have been pulling out way too many yellow cards in this World Cup. Let the boys play soccer. I guess at least they are making bad calls consistently.

posted by NightingalesGone at 08:43 PM on June 25

The refs have been woefully inconsistent and the physical play just keeps escalating.

posted by outsidemid4 at 09:16 PM on June 25

From the article; "The 23 red cards in this tournament _ whose motto is "A time to make friends" _ is already a World Cup record after 52 matches with 12 to go." Over/Under on the total number of red cards by the end of the Cup?

posted by Folkways at 09:26 PM on June 25

The refs have been bad enough to make me change the channel and watch golf.

posted by fenriq at 09:30 PM on June 25

Over : 28 sounds pretty good. I think they can at least get 28, if not more.

posted by STUNNER at 10:21 PM on June 25

This is the first soccer I've really watched on TV. I dunno about the refs- my complaint is the players. Is it me, or are they all drama queens? For example, I was watching the Argentina-Mexico match and one of Argentina's 2 young subs was running in thru box with the ball and was pushed some causing him to stumble, though not fall down, and loose control of the ball to which no foul was called. The comentator remarked, "A more experience player would have fallen down to get the foul." That sums up the World Cup to me- players dive at any minimal contact. I swear I've seen players fall when someone lightly touches their jersey. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy watching The Beautiful Game but the falling down when they could have easily stayed up and proceeding to lay their motionless for minutes pisses me off more than the reffing.

posted by jmd82 at 10:39 PM on June 25

The Dutch came out with the clear intention to injure and slow down Cristiano Ronaldo. They duly got carded for the first. After that there was a ballet of diving by both sides and some brutal tackles, as well as scrumming, pushing. What the hell was the referee supposed to do? Frankly, I thought he could have given more cards -- on Boularhouz for his clear attempt to charleyhorse Ronaldo, for example. it was the players who disgraced the game today, not the referee, whatever faults he may have had.

posted by rumple at 10:43 PM on June 25

I agree that the refs have been pulling out the cards a little quick, but in the POR-NED game, most of those cards seemed fairly justifiable. The one I remember that seemed a little soft was the Boulahrouz elbow to the face of Figo, who by all rights should have been straight red carded only moments before for a head-butt (on van Bommel I believe) 3 feet fom the ref. Players seemed to be making some of the most boneheaded plays I've ever seen. From Costinhas handball with a yellow card already. Deco trying to hold the ball with a yellow already. Lots of bad fouls. I don't blame the ref for most of those cards. He tried to settle down the game with a few yellows and the players just didn't heed the warnings.

posted by Ricardo at 10:47 PM on June 25

Players seemed to be making some of the most boneheaded plays I've ever seen. From Costinhas handball with a yellow card already. Deco trying to hold the ball with a yellow already. Lots of bad fouls. I don't blame the ref for most of those cards. He tried to settle down the game with a few yellows and the players just didn't heed the warnings. I fully agree. FIFA warned the teams that they were going to crackdown on fouls, but it seems that Portugal and Netherlands didn't believe them. Even after the ref gave an early card to remind them, they just kept getting stupid foul after stupid foul.

posted by grum@work at 11:01 PM on June 25

I agree with rumple and Ricardo, having just watched the game on tape (it was on at 5 am here, and I was already knackered after the England match - 1 am start!). The ref handled it very well, I thought, considering how much the players were losing it. The ref didn't miss much, apart from the Figo head butt, although that was probably not a card as it was hardly a touch, and more about the players squaring up to each other. I'm surprised that the Dutch were as badly disciplined as the Portuguese, and this played into Scolari's hands, especially as they were one up at the time. Although I don't think anyone, even Scolari, actually planned any of that! Pure mayhem! The game itself could have gone either way, but Van Basten waited too long to bring on a second striker, and Kuyt is far from world class.

posted by owlhouse at 11:08 PM on June 25

It will be interesting to see how England do against a Portugal side missing Costinha and Deco (to red cards) and perhaps C. Ronaldo (to injury). This is the first soccer I've really watched on TV. I dunno about the refs- my complaint is the players. Is it me, or are they all drama queens? [. . .] That sums up the World Cup to me- players dive at any minimal contact. I swear I've seen players fall when someone lightly touches their jersey. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy watching The Beautiful Game but the falling down when they could have easily stayed up and proceeding to lay their motionless for minutes pisses me off more than the reffing. This is the number one complaint I hear from my sports-savvy friends who don't follow soccer. It's a real problem and I think is a real stumbling block that helps explain why there is less of a following than there could be here in the U.S.

posted by holden at 11:10 PM on June 25

Yeah the players falling like they've been shot gets annoying--but I chalk it up as strategy (if they act convincingly the players can win foul calls to help their teams) much like flopping in the NBA which annoys me as well (Laimbeer, Divac, and Ginobli come immediately to mind.) The Netherlands-Portugal game was ugly--but kudos to Portugal for the win. Whatta performance by Beckham--first he gets nauseous then he makes Ecuador nauseous. It will be interesting to see how England do against a Portugal side missing Costinha and Deco (to red cards) and perhaps C. Ronaldo (to injury). I would've picked England to win (injuries or not) anyway--my call: ENG 2, POR 1.

posted by curtangle at 12:09 AM on June 26

Didn't watch the England match, much more important sport was on the telly (the Munster hurling final), but can anyone explain why the Dutch manager decided not to play Rudd Van Nistelrooy? As for diving, well at this stage it is part of the game, although I hate it. A friend told me that in Di Canio's biography he states that they are taught to dive. It is a strategy that FIFA should try to combat, maybe by looking at incidences on video after the matches, because it is very hard for the ref to spot it in the middle of a match.

posted by Fence at 03:11 AM on June 26

I dunno. Whilst it may have been a terrible advert for football, that Portugal/Netherlands game was the funniest, most entertaining 90 minutes of the World Cup so far. I can't say I'm looking forward to seeing the same cheating against England though. Hopefully they will appoint a ref for the game who won't fall for the cheating Portugeese histrionics.

posted by squealy at 04:35 AM on June 26

I think diving is a worse foul than many of the tackling fouls, in which the player does make an honest effort to play the ball but is a split second too late. One of Portugal's last cards (Nuno Valente?) came on a play in which the tackler did actually play the ball before the man got touched though he did play across the opposing player and did make contact with is feet/ankles with his shin. But he got the ball first, very clearly. Meanwhile anytime a Dutch player got near the box it looked for all the world like a sniper had shot from the top row or something. Pathetic.

posted by mikelbyl at 05:56 AM on June 26

As for diving, well at this stage it is part of the game, although I hate it. A friend told me that in Di Canio's biography he states that they are taught to dive. It's not much different than watching Shaq flop in the paint to draw a charge from a much smaller player. But, I do think that there's a huge difference between trying to draw a foul, and do what the Argentinians and Italians do (drop to the ground and grab their ankles, necks or faces in pain, only to rise within seconds, totally unscathed). Diving is a problem, but the histrionics are worse, and some countries are much more notorious for that kind of BS than others.

posted by psmealey at 06:09 AM on June 26

It's all going according to plan. And I agree with you, psmealey: not so much the dives as the histrionics.

posted by yerfatma at 06:23 AM on June 26

That was my favourite fight game of the world cup so far. I was hoping it would get to extra time and penalties, because after another 30 minutes of punching each other, it would have been funny see them take penalties with only three players each who hadn't been sent off.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 06:35 AM on June 26

I agree with pretty much everything written so far. There have been some bad referees in this tournament so far, but the Por-Ned ref was just put in a really bad situation from the off. The Dutch came out to intentionally kick Ronaldo out of the game and both sides put in some horrendous fouls. However, the ref kinda set himself up by booking players from the very beginning, meaning he'd have to book every similar foul from that point on. He should have called both captains over and told them to talk to their players and cool it down. Then start with the cards. I disagree with anyone who says red cards ruin the game, though. Who didn't enjoy watching that? The second half was just hilarious!

posted by afx237vi at 07:19 AM on June 26

I dunno, if the ref let early fouls go then he would have open to criticism that he should have stamped his authority on the game at an early stage. Is it his fault that the players didn't take the hint. I see that Figo will escape any more punishment although I did like the quote from Scolari defending Figo: "Jesus said we should turn the other cheek, unfortunately, Figo is not Jesus Christ."

posted by Fence at 07:41 AM on June 26

I thought there was enough blame to spread around - players, the refs and coaches from that game. It looked like after the first yellow was handed out, the players all knew this ref was going to be handing them out like treats, and they decided to play along. I agree the writhing and bad-acting is laughable, but not so much to turn me off from the good stuff. And some of those fouls were damn hard despite the quick-handed ref. Other observations: Figo has a huge noggin. It's a planetoid. It has smaller noggins orbiting around it. Everytime I watch Christiano Ronaldo play, he ends up crying. The Dutch can pass the hell out of the ball - only it's within 20 yards of each other in midfield. Seemed a little toothless. I love the scrums after dirty plays. Everyone looks mad as hell, but they all end up touching each other on the face very gently. Meanwhile, the fans are hucking beer bottles and tables at the cops. What a great sport.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:17 AM on June 26

The Dutch came out to intentionally kick Ronaldo out of the game I blame Mr Bismarck, personally. It was his idea.

posted by yerfatma at 08:22 AM on June 26

Everytime I watch Christiano Ronaldo play, he ends up crying. LOL. I made that same comment when I was watching the game yesterday, too. Also, while he's very adept with the ball, and appararently has a lot of fancy moves, I have never once seen him do one of those tricks that actually resulted in his being able to gain an advantage on a defender. It's mostly for show, as far as I can tell. Figo might be 135 years old, but he's still got some great moves on and off the ball. Also, what is up with the Dutch team and the horrendously off target shots from distance? I vividly remember them outplaying Brazil in the semifinals at France 98 (losing eventually on penalties), but Kluivert and Davids blew so many great runs by impatiently taking shots on goal from distance that were miles off target. Yesterday was somewhat reminiscent of that.

posted by psmealey at 08:26 AM on June 26

I firmly disagree with much of what's being said about the Portugal v Holland game. The ref gave two silly yellow cards early on, which was a signal to the players to dive as much as possible. The more mistaken cards he then gave, the more it gave out the signal to dive. In addition to that, the more cards the ref gives out, the more players are likely to foul because they believe the ref will not want to blot his copy book by giving out too many in the game. Erroneously in this case, as the ref seemed determined to get his name in the history books, but it's a natural reaction from the players and I've seen it a thousand times. I've said it before and I doubtless will again, but a card-happy ref has no place in this sport. A couple of firm words in place of the first couple of cards and a strong yellow to the first player to dive would have shut down most of the dirty play early on. The ref could then have given out cards for the few incidents which would have really deserved them.

posted by walrus at 08:30 AM on June 26

The first two yellows were for van Bommel's sliding hatchet job off a 15 yard run up and Bowlingshoes' attempt to castrate Ronaldo. Which of those should have been replaced with a firm word? Drawing blood on Ronaldo's thigh is a firm word penalty? The two teams came out determined to kick the crap out of eachother, the ref issued two very valid yellow cards in seven minutes and the players ignored that. An elbow to the face, a headbutt, players taking it in turns to kick Ronaldo, Deco's idiocy, Costinha's deliberate handball... Yeah. We agree with FIFA then... all the ref's fault. Meanwhile, I really, really enjoyed the game, for two main reasons. Firstly, as yerfatma mentioned, if the BBC ran a two hour special of people kicking Ronaldo, I'd watch and secondly, because the local TV listings had the game as: World Cup PORNED

posted by Mr Bismarck at 08:59 AM on June 26

Firstly, as yerfatma mentioned, if the BBC ran a two hour special of people kicking Ronaldo, I'd watch and secondly, because the local TV listings had the game as: World Cup PORNED Ironically, if the game was listed as NEDPOR, it would be Swedish for "2 hours of kicking Ronaldo" - but would be referning to the Brazilian. True story.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:12 AM on June 26

While the refs poor calls and the diving/acting of the players are painful to watch, nothing compares to listening to Marcelo Balboa commentate on these matches. If he isn't comparing the game to himself (who never did anything excepet a scissor kick) or the U.S. team (who never did anything period) he's saying things like "Is there anyone better than Beckham at set plays? He's absolutely phenomonal. But for me, he doesn't deserve to be on the field." WTF??? Move over Bill Walton, you've got some serious competition.

posted by kire at 09:13 AM on June 26

Balboa is an idiot. Every comment that he makes about Beckham seems to indicate that he wishes Beckham were, in fact, Paul Scholes. With Gerrard and Lampart in the midfield, England doesn't need Paul Scholes (who was given to terrible lapses of judgment), they just need Beckham to be himself. You can legitimate criticize Beckham for sandbagging on defense every now again, though he is mostly an adequate defender, and for backing out of challenges when he is on the ball a little too frequently. But let's face it, the guy does a couple of things better than anyone else in the world, and he never chokes when the pressure is on.

posted by psmealey at 09:21 AM on June 26

Ironically, if the game was listed as NEDPOR, it would be Swedish for "2 hours of kicking Ronaldo" - but would be referning to the Brazilian. True story. If anyone made this for real, I'd break down and buy Tivo just to record this and watch it every time I felt depressed, for the rest of my life.

posted by chicobangs at 09:26 AM on June 26

Who didn't enjoy watching that? The second half was just hilarious! I wanted to see the Dutch storm the net for the second half. The scrum was entertaining, but it could've robbed us a great finish. The fight after the ball wasn't kicked back to Portugal took five minutes of game time. One thing I haven't figured out about soccer is how that's equitable to the trailing team. Portugal had an incentive to take up as much time as possible with those antics and the life-threatening injuries they suffered after any contact. Six minutes of extra time didn't even come close to covering the lost play.

posted by rcade at 09:43 AM on June 26

Wow, looks like the refs are continuing to have a stunning tournament. They just beat Australia 1-0 on a penalty.

posted by psmealey at 12:00 PM on June 26

After Materazzi was sent off on a challenge that should only have been a yellow. See : Heinze in the game against Mexico.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:23 PM on June 26

Beckham spills guts for England alright. (Warning: gross picture)

posted by NoMich at 12:32 PM on June 26

Six minutes of extra time didn't even come close to covering the lost play. I thought the same thing. I was fully expecting 10 minutes of extra time.

posted by grum@work at 12:48 PM on June 26

Mr Bismarck: they were mistimed tackles, and many refs would not have given yellows. In fact I very much doubt you would have seen yellows for those in a premier league match. There was little intent, but a player got injured in one of them: that does not mean an automatic yellow card. The two worst injuries I have seen in the last few years both happened to the same player when he got his studs caught in the turf during a completely innocuous challenge. No need to talk them up, we've all got eyes and brains which can form independent opinions. It's a contact sport and people get injured, often completely by accident. The ref is supposed to determine intent or recklessness before producing a yellow card. A mistimed tackle should result in a free kick and a firm word. I've reffed at amateur level, and if you book every hard challenge you'll have no players left at the end of the game and you won't get asked again. Just to confirm that this is not only my opinion, but that of many experienced pundits: Russian referee Valentin Ivanov set the tone for his performance by booking players from the start for late tackles that he could have given free-kicks for. - BBC. There could have been a yellow card for the referee. He was not at the same level as the players. 'This was a game of emotion, with high drama but the referee was not consistent - Sepp Blatter. Russian referee Valentin Ivanov was given a resounding vote of no confidence by players, coaches and even FIFA president Sepp Blatter after he lost control of Portugal's 1-0 win against the Netherlands on Sunday. - Sydney Morning Herald The Russian referee set the tone when booking Mark van Bommel for a foul on Cristiano Ronaldo inside two minutes. A talking to would probably have sufficed, but by brandishing a yellow card he set himself a benchmark to work from. - Sky Sports I could give plenty more examples, but I guess I'm preaching to the converted.

posted by walrus at 01:19 PM on June 26

I went to watch a fight, and a soccer game broke out. In all seriousness, I got to watch the England game from a pub in Portsmouth, England, with a bunch of hooligan-types who were pretty cool to let a bunch of American know-nothings join in on the festivities. I was just glad England won or else they might have gotten unfriendly. As for the game, it seemed to me that both England and Ecuador were pretty evenly matched. The Ecuadorian goalie didn't do that bad a job, I thought, but he got one go by him. The Ecuadorians just didn't take that many shots it seemed, and could never keep any constant pressure on the English side of the field. But a good game overall. As for PorNed, I only saw flashes of the game (including one scrum), so I won't comment.

posted by Bonkers at 01:48 PM on June 26

and do what the Argentinians and Italians do (drop to the ground and grab their ankles, necks or faces in pain, only to rise within seconds, totally unscathed Nostradamus or historical knowledge of Italians being diving, cheating fucks?

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 02:03 PM on June 26

and he never chokes when the pressure is on This quote about Beckham almost made me choke. Not because I don't like him as a player, but because of the great hurling incident in the Ecuador game.

posted by Ricardo at 02:16 PM on June 26

Talk them up? You know, you're right... if you think this : ... foot high, studs out tackle isn't a yellow card and deserves only a firm word, then we're too far apart on this to every see it the same way. This foul and utterly deserved yellow card came on seven minutes. Here's a still of the first foul, on two minutes : I imagine Mark doesn't win too many spot the ball competitions. As an admission, he doesn't clout him off a 15 yard run up, yes. All he does is kick him in the back of the leg and then do the same again, from behind, with zero chance of getting the ball, once Ronaldo has skinned him down the line. I'm not trying to defend our Russian friend (and little me certainly wouldn't dare to disagree with the BBC, the Sydney Morning Herald or Sky Sports, bless), but the idea he could have had a firm word about the above is just... wrong. Also, putting forward the Premier League is a spurious argument, because we all know that referees are given very specific instructions about what they're to crack down on, before the tournament and those instructions will bear no resemblance to those used by referees in domestic leagues. There are cards to argue from the PORNED game, but the first two aren't among them. In other news, I really enjoyed watching the footage required to come up with a .gif and a capture of Ronaldo being lumped up in the air.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 02:22 PM on June 26

The Boulahrouz foul on Ronaldo was, in my mind, a clear attempt to injure. Two footed, one groin high, him not "put of control" but appearing to guide his upper foot into the general area. He doesn't even fall over. Clearly in control. Scumbag. However, did he even get a yellow card for that? My memory was he didn't, though there were so many I could be wrong. isn't it: "I went to a hockey game and a soccer match broke out?

posted by rumple at 02:47 PM on June 26

OK, Boulahrouz did get a yellow for that. Deservedly.

posted by rumple at 02:59 PM on June 26

The first is a mis-timed tackle which happened in a split second. Slowing it down does not make it any worse. He goes for the ball, and his foot is not high. It does not go above waist height, and his studs are most certainly not "up". At the point of contact they are about ten degrees off the horizontal, because he pulls out of the challenge when the ball bounces off Ronaldos knee. There is quite clearly zero intent whatsoever. You can watch it with your eyes. Not going to go over and over this, you clearly have a marked difference of opinion to me and most referees, who would not have given a card for that. In fact most would only have given perhaps five in that game overall, with at most one deserved sending off (incidentally for the incident for which the ref decided to card the player after having his back turned when it happened, so ensuring that due disciplinary process could not be followed). Most of the cards were for clear dives, and a lot of the rest were for fifty-fifties. You can argue until you go blue in the face, but at the end of the day the ref will be punished, and punished harshly for that performance. It was one of the worse refereeing displays I have ever seen, and believe me I have seen some bad ones. That ref will never, ever, appear in a FIFA fixture again, I absolutely guarantee it. If he got the game so right then why would that be?

posted by walrus at 03:00 PM on June 26

A friend told me that in Di Canio's biography he states that they (I'm assuming said friend meant "Italians") are taught to dive. I don't know how many have seen this, but it is slam dunk proof the statement above is correct. Di Canio admitting the trained-to-dive issue correlates with the most sporting act I have ever seen.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 03:05 PM on June 26

Di Canio admitting the trained-to-dive issue correlates with the most sporting act I have ever seen. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the referee act like a total gimp and book him for that?

posted by afx237vi at 03:17 PM on June 26

If he got the game so right then why would that be? I'm lost as to where I said that, or took serious issue with anything other than the first two yellow cards, but as I can't speak for "most other referees" I'll move on. However, I will also absolutely guarantee that Ivanov will never, ever, appear in a FIFA fixture again, primarily because he turns 45 next Thursday and so will be forced to retire from the FIFA list.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 03:25 PM on June 26

... foot high, studs out tackle isn't a yellow card and deserves only a firm word, then we're too far apart on this to every see it the same way. This one, in the box, didn't even get a firm word.

posted by tselson at 03:27 PM on June 26

That was a pearler, tselson. One of my favourites, along with Figo getting kicked square in the face against Iran.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 03:32 PM on June 26

However, I will also absolutely guarantee that Ivanov will never, ever, appear in a FIFA fxture again, primarily because he turns 45 next Thursday and will be forced to retire from the FIFA list. That made me chuckle anyway :-)

posted by walrus at 03:33 PM on June 26

Many times the cards are warranted. You hate to see these guys get hurt by cheap shots. However, I think they should combat the drama queens, by reviewing the films. If there is a blatant feigning of injury (I believe there has been at least 5 per game) FIFA should suspend said player from the next game. In the final game, I think the ref just hast to keep his head and not be influenced by the allegedly injured player.

posted by caselaw at 06:33 PM on June 26

The Sports Economist has a couple of interesting posts analysing* the subject of penalties in this World Cup. One of the links also includes the raw data files for anyone looking to get their nerd on. * See me pull out the en-GB on you? See me? Feel me. TOUCH ME!

posted by yerfatma at 03:30 PM on June 28

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