Thoughts on the Referee: Djamel Haimoudi in Brazil v. Netherlands
One of my favorite things about Djamel Haimoudi is that he always just looks so darn happy to be there. I mean I guess they all are, but Haimoudi just can’t hide his joy. It’s adorbs.
But, to quote myself after his first match, because of that: “I wish he’d done better.”
Or to quote my friend Mark:
“Fastest referee controversy ever.”
The penalty and yellow card at 2 minutes to Thiago Silva both set the tone for the match and put Netherlands ahead.
As always, Arjen Robben’s antics were center stage. There was a definite tug from Silva, but not enough to bring him down. But tugging Robben in the box is just stupid; you know he’s going to throw himself down.
I have seen video suggesting this was slightly outside the box when it started, but man…it was really close. It looks like the tug is just when he’s stepping on or across the line. I can see why Haimoudi called it.
One big question was whether the card should have been red, since Robben would have been clear on goal. I think probably he didn’t have that much control over the ball when the tug occurred.
And, not to start any rumors, but I’ve seen several denial of goalscoring opportunities in this tournament, and every one received a yellow card. It has felt, in general, that referees in this tournament have actively avoided the “triple punishment”: penalty, sending off, suspension.
It’s also possible that Haimoudi was reluctant to send off Brazil’s captain with 88 minutes to play, and I kind of don’t blame him.
I have a lot of notes on this game, mostly how he missed almost every free kick or foul he gave. He literally was giving free kicks to guys who tripped over their own feet. All in all, it started to get boring. In fact, it would probably have been easier to list the calls he did get right; much shorter list.
He didn’t have the best of games, let’s put it that way. At least he was using his cards, unlike pretty much every other referee in this World Cup.
He’s quite fit, though. Those are some serious deltoids…
So, this will be the third time in this World Cup that poor old Nicola Rizzoli has had to follow a not-so-stellar performance.
Good thing the Honey Badger don’t care…
Feature photo: USA Today