Red Card or Not: Milorad Mazic and Germany v. Portugal
Well, this was an exciting match, wasn’t it?
Milorad Mazic, the Serbian who has taken refereeing by storm the last few years, had complete control over this match from the start, physical pushing players around (mostly Portuguese players) when they got out of hand.
But, like it or not, he had a big impact on the game with two calls in particular: the penalty kick at just over 10 minutes in, and the Pepe red card.
I will say now that I disagree with ESPN, who believe the tug in the box didn’t rise to a penalty. Maybe so in other matches, but it’s more than clear now that the FIFA referees are calling things very tight in the box. The penalty was completely in character with what we’re seeing in the rest of the tournament, so I’m not even going to argue that.
What can be argued are the two red card calls:
One during the above penalty, when Mazic showed only a yellow, and one for Pepe being a dumbass.
Penalty Call on Joao Pereira (10:20)
Here’s the penalty foul on Mario Goetze. After pointing to the spot, Mazic produced a yellow card, indicating that it was a simple foul. But was it, or was it denial of goalscoring opportunity?
Take a look at this GIF by The Big Lead:
Goetze was still on his feet when he was tugged down, and the ball was clearly heading toward goal. The remaining defenders were behind Goetze.
Looks like a DOGSO to me – if you believe it was a penalty, which Mazic clearly did – and therefore should have been a red card.
Note: It was early in the game, and again, we don’t know what the referees’ directives are. We know there’s a lot of uproar about the “triple punishment” (penalty kick, red card, suspension), so I would hazard a guess that they’re going to be careful about giving PKs and red cards. I would go even further to say that might be why they’re calling things so tight in the box, to avoid that very situation. Still…
Red card or not: Red card
Sending off for Pepe (40)
This is kind of silly to even analyze, but let’s do it anyway!
Pepe was being chased by the persistent Thomas Muller, who was struck by Pepe’s flailing arm. (At first blush, it looked accidental, but this is Pepe we’re talking about.) Muller went down like he’d been shot in the face, and Pepe took exception to that. He walked over, bent way down and smacked the top of Muller’s head with his own.
Here’s a GIF from fansided.com, if you haven’t seen it 1000 times already.
Pepe was gone from the rest of this game and the American one, as well.
The stupidest thing about this (and that’s a tall order, to find the stupidest thing here), is that Mazic didn’t fall for Muller’s playacting. He was right there, and you can see him start to motion for Muller to get on with it. But once Pepe decided to meet theatrics with violence, Mazic was left with no choice.
Red card or not: Red card
Let me know what you think below: Red card or not?