Red Card or Not: Geiger and France v. Nigeria

As you will read in my end of day report, I thought United States referee Mark Geiger was very, very inconsistent and poor in this match.

But let’s focus on arguably the biggest talking point- whether or not France should have been reduced to ten men after this tackle by Blaise Matuidi:

Before you vote, check out the three similar red cards issued for tackles like this in the tournament, some of them arguably not as bad as this one:

If those were deserving of red, this was, too. However, Geiger only saw fit to produce a yellow, leaving Matuidi on the pitch to help France win 2-0.

Featured photo:


  • 100% SFP. What makes this mistake even more worse, was the fact Geiger could not be better placed.

    Liked by 2 people

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  • You might be a good looking guy Mark…..but you’re on the plane home my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Gary, he would of been going home anyway. Next round thru the finals will only go to the usual suspects.


    • There’s a reason they’re the usual suspects. 🙂

      But many of the top refs have teams still in the tournament, and there are only 25 of them, not 33. So, there have been chances for people to break in.


    • 8 games to go after tomorrow. Who’s in? Webb, Cakir, Rodriguez are certain to get another game. Ricci and Kuipers have been solid by all accounts but their teams might prevent them from doing much. Aguilar hasn’t worked a game in a while and has generally been solid. Rizzoli and Irmatov seem to be FIFA favorites. Vera, Gassama, and Velasco? Other than Webb there is probably no need to repeat any referees from the round of 16.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Irmatov’s had three and he was fair to poor in two of them; I’d be surprised to see him again. Rizzoli and Brych have only had two and both did fine, so I say they’re strong possibilities, at least for quarters.

        Kuipers and Ricci will probably be worked in somehow, even with their teams still in the tournament.

        Webb for sure.

        Gassama has only had one match, but did quite well, so we might see him, and I’d think Rodriguez would be back.

        Cakir and Eriksson are also possibles, as is Roldan.

        That’s heavily weighted toward Europe, but they did choose only 25 guys this time, and almost half were from Europe, so I don’t know how they get around that.


  • This is the kind of deliberate fouls I referred to in my comment on the Suarez ban. Referees really should take stronger measures against players entering duels with their studs. Usually you don’t play the ball with your studs and though it is a measure to prevent yourselves from injuries, it has a very high risk of seriously injuring your opponent.
    Unfortunately I see this way of entering a duel more and more. In my perception there is an increasing number of incidents with players stepping on other foots the last couple of years where that happened only occasionely in the further past.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Valencia was just not paying enough attention, Marchisio was to aggressive/fanatic and I found red a bit to harsh for them.
    Defour was just hard landing on the guys leg, and deserved red, but Matuidi made the other 3 fouls look soft in comparison, you can see it from the result, the player was seriously injured unlike any of the others.

    I think the refs tournament is over, I would have expected him to whistle maybe a semi since I expect Kuipers to whistle the final unless the Dutch reach it, in that case I would expect the honor might go to someone else. Webb would be best qualified but he already did last WorldCup and they have not ever let a referee do 2 finals. Maybe you get lucky with Rizzoli then as I don’t think they want a referee that has now done his work at the highest levels in either South America or Europe which rules out a lot of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I recognize this is your web site; but you are wrong in showing only the final seconds of a play, it makes the referee look bad when selective pictures are used. If you look at the total picture you see that it is Absolutely the correct call based on Mr Geiger’s angle of view. Matuidi has played the ball forward and chasing it, Onazi comes from the left across his path and does not have control of the ball. Matuidi is a fraction slower getting to ball and the contact occurs, he did not go over the ball. It’s slow motion, stop action viewing, from an entirely different angle than the Referee’s, that make it look like a case for dismissal.
    Additionally you see no complaints raised by the Nigerian players in fact I saw this quote on another site by Nigerian number 10, John Obi Mikel who saw full action in the game. Mikel chose not to criticize the tackle …: “I thought the referee didn’t help us at all. There were some heavy challenges and I think Ogenyi Onazi has broken his ankle. Challenges like this are bad but it was a 50-50, he just miscalculated.” This from a team mate whose coach still does not recognize a goal was disallowed fairly!

    Also under US Soccer Memorandum of excessive force the SIAPOA acronym should be used. Analysis of the elements of SIAPOA also shows the yc was correct.


    • Good perspective.

      One note, when refereeing in international games, the referee’s home federation rules and directives do NOT apply. They are under a whole new set of directives from FIFA. This is to ensure consistency since all federations referee a little differently.

      Fans (and players) often question the fact that a referee they know well makes a call that he wouldn’t make at home, or vice versa. That’s why.


      • SIAPOA is a helpful acronym to judge between a regular foul (careless), Reckless, or serious foul play.
        S= Speed I= Intent A= Aggressive Nature of the challenge, the type of aggression that typifies taking a player out P= Position of the tackler O= Opportunity to play the ball A= Atmosphere of the game.
        I would think these would apply almost universally. The referee is making these judgements almost instantaneously based on training and experience, while armchair refs should use them as thoughtful analysis before passing judgement.


    • One other note: I get your point on the video, but I’m SEVERELY hampered on the video end. I’m often reduced to using Vine (which has a very short record time) or GIFs.

      I had a longer video up from YouTube, where most of the more comprehensive videos are. That was removed by FIFA. They’re having YouTube remove video for copyright violations at such a dramatic pace that I’m avoiding them for the most part. (This is a larger issue with YouTube, I think; I’ve heard of long-time review vbloggers quitting the channel because of overeager removal for copyright.)

      It makes it tough to show anything more than a snapshot.


  • El foul del jugador francés va más allá de la tarjeta roja, debió ser sancionado con la suspensión del campeonato y obligado a pagar los costos de salud del jugador nigeriano. Una barbaridad lo que hizo el futbolista galo.


    • Rough translation: The French player foul beyond the red card, must be punished with the suspension of the championship and required to pay the health costs of the Nigerian player. Outrageous that made the French footballer.


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