Bitching About the Refs

Is it me, or are the refs in Columbia-Ecuador doing a really horrible job? I’m watching with the sound off, but it looks like there was a red card on a flop that was a complete travesty of justice, a goalkeeper ‘injury’ chewing up ten minutes of clock, and then a yellow card on a tackle where the defender was between the ball and the other guy, got kicked, and then was given a yellow card for his trouble.

Regarding the red card, I had vague hopes that at the half the officials would look at the play again and realize that the guy they’d tossed from the game was innocent, and the guy who flopped should be ejected, and all would be made right for the second 45 minutes. That’s not the way things work, however.

I don’t follow the sport closely enough to know whether this game has World Cup implications, but I suspect it does, and Ecuador has a right to be pissed off. Except… Columbia seems to be the better team, flopping and bad calls notwithstanding. Not all the terrible calls have been in their favor, either. So the outcome is looking like it should, but the process of getting there has been terrible.

The shitty calls go both ways. After I typed the above, I watched a play just outside the penalty box, where a Columbian beat the defender and was then tripped. “Now that’s a yellow card,” I said to myself. The ref jogged over, pulled the yellow card out of his pocket, and held it up in the face of the guy who got tripped. Obviously the ref was sensitive to dives after the previous tragedy, but in this case he called diving on a guy who would have had a shot on goal if he kept his feet.

Columbia probably should win, but they have no right to be proud of the way they did it.


2 thoughts on “Bitching About the Refs

  1. purely speculative and anecdotal… but when I read articles about soccer at all, they are not about the games or the players or the plays, but about the culture, and I get the sense that in many countries this passion is too huge to be left to chance. Thus, lots of organized crime. My un-scientific theory is that the bad calls you saw are the result of corruption and not refereeing.

    • There has been a massive exposé of corruption and game fixing in soccer at every level, even the highest. Players and especially refs getting paid off for the profit of (primarily) asian criminals. I think the incompetence in this case didn’t favor columbia (the better team anyway) enough to cry foul.

      But… the gambling cartels don’t need decisive swings. Just a little lean.

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