The Daily Rumor: World Cup Referees
It’s definitely silly season in World Cup refereeing terms, with only three games left to go. Here are some of the totally unsubstantiated things I’m hearing.
Bjorn Kuipers is Out – Dutch media are reporting that Kuipers has been given his walking papers, due to the success of the Dutch side. This is really sad for me, because it really does mean that the best referee won’t be officiating. It happens, but it’s rather heartbreaking.
The List Has Been Made – This is
total hearsay (now confirmed), but here’s apparently the list of guys that are staying:
- Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
- Yuichi Nishimura (JPN)
- Djamel Haimoudi (ALG)
- Noumandiez Doue (CIV)
- Marco Rodriguez (MEX)
- Mark Geiger (USA)
- Enrique Osses (CHI)
- Carlos Vera (ECU)
- Sandro Ricci (BRA)
- Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)
- Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
- Pedro Proenca (POR)
- Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
- Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)
- Howard Webb (ENG)
If this is true, there are some real shockers on this list, including Carlos Velasco Carballo, whom everyone but FIFA apparently thought was horrid.
Note that just because a guy is on this list, doesn’t mean he’s a candidate for the final – they will need support referees and fourth officials. It also doesn’t mean he’s better than some of those guys who did go home; Dr. Felix Brych (above in red, walking off into the sunset) and Bjorn Kuipers are way better than Velasco and Nishimura,, but so are their national teams (Germany and Netherlands, respectively).
Two Officials are Match Fixers – The Daily Mail is doing their usual bang up investigative reporting <insert sarcasm here>, with dark rumors of two supposed match fixers amongst the World Cup referees. They don’t say who, how they found out, or what the officials supposedly did in this Cup.
Worse, they use two photographs to illustrate the stories, both of referees still in the picture and neither of whom I would think are even remote possibilities as match fixers: Pedro Proenca and Ravshan Irmatov. I highly doubt they’re the referees in question, but DM implies they are by showing them. (Or they just chose random referee photos without thinking of implications.) Hope they can prove that…
Mark Geiger is Already In – Shortly after Marco Rodriguez was appointed for the first semifinal (and Geiger the Fourth Official with him), a Costa Rican reporter “broke the news” that Geiger was already a done deal as referee for the second semifinal. Never mind that having two CONCACAF officials in the semis was problematic, or the logistical and security risks of getting Mr. Geiger to Sao Paulo the next day.
I guess we shall see…
Howard Webb is a Final Candidate but Velasco is the favorite – This is again from the Daily Mail. The bit about Webb isn’t quite completely mad. I wouldn’t say the odds are great, but I don’t doubt he’s in the mix.
As for Velasco, Neymar broke his back on Velasco’s watch. I would say even FIFA aren’t stupid enough to throw him into a stadium full of Brazilians for the final. But who knows?
Featured photo: FIFA