World Cup Final 2010 ? Five referees to keep an eye on
Referee is not considered an easy job at all. At the World Cup Final 2010, FIFA has carefully chosen the list of 30 “black kings” to control matches in South Africa. Whenever the whistle is blown, any decisions affect the whole 90-minute match. The role of the referee is important enough to determine the fate of an entire game. Of course every choice is only relative and certainly there are not few mistakes from the referees in the world’s biggest tournament. Here are five referees who get special attention at the World Cup Final 2010.
1. Howard Webb (England)
In Europe, Howard Webb is a popular name to everybody. He had good control at Final Champions League between Inter and Bayern Munich and is working at the Premier League, a top European league. However, he is not regarded as a good referee of the world.
Last year, Webb had a public apology after making a mistake in the match between Wolves and Birmingham at the FA Cup. Webb, whose main job is a police, did not recognize the 11m score of Birmingham. Therefore, Wolves won and played in the next round. At the same year, Webb continued to have a wrong recognition for the 11m score of Manchester United although goalkeeper Gomes didnot foul with Michael Carrick in the penalty area. The match ended with 2-0 score and MU won the championship.
2. Eddy Maillet (Seychelles)
On the world football map, the name Seychelles has almost no position. This 42-year-old man was recognized as an international-class referee after the match in the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009. Maillet controls the matches quite well and wins the hearts of fans.
More impressive, the 42-year-old was picked to work the highly charged playoff between Egypt and Algeria in Sudan in November. However, Maillet comes from the tiny African paradise of Seychelles (population less than 90,000), which get much attention.
3. Jorge Larrionda (Uruguay)
Larrionda is not so popular in Europe but in every World Cup, “42-year-old black king” always makes great impression. In World Cup 2006, he controlled the draw match between U.S. and Italy. He is known as a brave referee when he sent three players off in the group game. (De Rossi, Mastroeni and Eddie Pope Paoblo). It was Larrionda who used a red card to send off Michael Bradley in the FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final in 2009 between U.S. and Spain. Bradley took ball on a 50-50 with midfielder Xabi Alonso. Fortunately, U.S. Still won with the score of 2 – 0 and lost Brazil in the final match.
Turn back time, at World Cup Final 2002, Larrionda was even banned to control the game due to unspecified irregularities. So how much red cards will this strict referee draw in South Africa?
4. Wolfgang Stark (Germany)
For the second straight season, Chelsea didn’t have much luck when it came to referees in the Champions League. Stark wasn’t as bad as Tom Henning Ovrebo, but he had a stinker in Chelsea’s 1-0 loss to Inter Milan in March. Stark kept his whistle in his pocket when Branislav Ivanovic was mugged in the box at Stamford Bridge, and did the same as Walter Samuel manhandled Didier Drogba.
In 2007, at the U20 World Championships held in Canada, Stark continued to be the focus when he controlled the match between Chile and Argentina in the semifinal with 11 cards (nine cards to Chile including 2 red cards). Besides, he called 53 fouls, which was a record that year.
5. Martin Hansson (Sweden)
It was reported that Hansson took charge of the ill-fated playoff game between France and Ireland in Paris last fall and had a solid game through 90 minutes. He got the biggest decision of all wrong, allowing William Gallas’ decisive goal to stand after Thierry Henry’s hands. Ireland couldn’t believe it when Hansson failed to call Thierry Henry’s handball.
Not only Ireland but also England want to avoid Hansson. In the second round of the Champions League this season, the 39-year-old allowed FC Porto to take a quick free kick against Arsenal. Hansson didn’t exactly get out of the way as Gunners defender Sol Campbell tried to get into position, and Porto scored.
Moreover, Hansson was the referee in last year’s Confederations Cup final between Brazil and U.S. In this match, although Hansson controlled very well, he made mistake. When a header from Brazil’s Kaka against the U.S. crossed the line, it wasn’t considered a score. So how did Hansson get picked for South Africa?
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