World Cup Referees: Sunday June 22
All the ladies will be glad to know that Dr. Dreamy is back! Yes, Dr. Felix Brych of Germany will referee Belgium v Russia. These teams have everything to fight for, but after shaky outings for each expect it to be ugly.
At least the referee won’t be.
(I love the above photo, from dw.de. He looks like he’s posing on the red carpet, no? He’s actually at a hearing for his infamous “Ghost Goal.” That’s how cool this guy is.)
Remember when I said that, despite the two wrongly called offside goals in the Mexico v Cameroon game, that Colombian Wilmar Roldan actually performed quite well? It was his assistant, not Roldan, who made those mistakes and apparently FIFA agrees with me.
Instead of punishing Roldan by sending him and his entire team home, he’s been given South Korea v. Algeria. But the offending assistant referee, Humberto Clavijo, is nowhere to be found. Instead one of the Ecuadoran team, Christian Lescano, gets the nod with Roldan.
Finally, Nestor Pitana of Argentina gets to deal with what will surely be a gentlemanly game between USA and Portugal. I liked Pitana, but it will be interesting to see how he handles the heat of Manaus.
Referee: Nestor Pitana (ARG)
Assistant: Hernan Maidana (ARG)
Assistant: Juan Pablo Belatti (ARG)
Fourth Official: Walter Lopez (GUA)