Category Archives: General

Honey Badger Says ‘Talk to the Hand’

Add yet another feather of refereeing oddness to the Honey Badger’s cap. Italy’s Nicola Rizzoli gave Diego Costa a deserved penalty kick in Atletico Madrid’s Champions League semifinal clash with Chelsea, after Samuel Eto’o clumsily chopped him down in the box. But Costa went all “princess and the pea”, bizarrely claiming the ball wasn’t sitting right and continuing to spin

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Chelsea Coach Loses Mind

Poor Mike Dean. What a day he had at Stamford Bridge. First there was Ramires punching Seb Larsson in the face (which Dean actually missed, but has no doubt seen by now) and then this. Cesar Azpilicueta did his best, but got outfoxed by Jozy Altidore in the box. Dean correctly called the penalty, which Liverpool loanee Fabio Borini stepped

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Should Referees Explain Their Decisions?

After yesterday’s debacle at Stamford Bridge, with Andre Marriner sending off the wrong Arsenal player, there’s been a predictable amount of howling from the media that referees should be forced to explain their decisions. It’s an interesting question and not as straightforward as it may seem at first blush. I’ve heard over and over that referees should be forced to

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Howard Webb Gets in Fight!

How’s that for sensationalistic headlines? It was supposed to be a quiet weekend for Howard Webb. All he had to do as the fourth official at Hull City v. Newcastle was to stand around, looking intimidating. (As he does.) Unfortunately, all that training as a policeman had to come into play, because Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is just a crazy

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What a Red Card Appeal Really Means: Part Two

Read Part One To understand why West Ham’s recent challenge failed, and Tottenham’s didn’t, we first need to understand two fundamental facts about the Wrongful Dismissal process: the Independent Regulatory Commission’s role and “obvious error.” Role of the Regulatory Commission In the FA’s official communication about Wrongful Dismissals, the Regulatory Commission’s role is defined as such: So, when clubs or

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What a Red Card Appeal Really Means: Part One

In the space of about a week and a half, we’ve had two big red card appeals in the Premier League. In both cases, the clubs exercised their right to challenge a sending off before an ‘Independent Regulatory Commission’, in hopes of getting the automatic suspension of 1-3 games rescinded. Tottenham appealed Danny Rose’s one-game suspension for taking down Manchester

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Rizzoli is Referee of the Year

Nicola Rizzoli has been named Italy’s top referee for the 858th year in a row. Okay,  I exaggerate. It’s just 857. In all seriousness, this is at least the third year in a row that Rizzoli has walked onto the stage at Italy’s Gran Gala and accepted the trophy.  And I think he’s worn the same suit every year. (For

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Whatever the Weather…

So, apparently climate change is everywhere, because it’s been raining buckets in Rome for, like, six weeks. Or that must be how it feels to them. There’s so much rain that the Prime Minister has declared a state of emergency in the city. It rained for 24 hours before the Roma v. Parma match, and the teams walked out onto

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