Rewarding the loyal refs for their dreadful decisions

By Walter Broeckx

Congratulations and celebrations,

When I tell everyone that you’re going to the world cup

Congratulations and jubilations,

I want the world to know I’m not surprised at all.


Forgive me to have changed the lyrics of this old Cliff Richard song a bit.

The refs that are going to the world cup are known. And as I predicted a few months ago a certain Martin Hansson is going to the world cup.

Yes that Martin Hansson that didn’t see the hand of TH in the game against Ireland. In those days I told everyone that Hansson would be rewarded for this.

Now to make things clear, I am one of the few persons who does not hold Hansson responsible for not seeing the handball from TH.

In fact Hansson was at the right place when the ball came in  and from his position he could not see TH and his arm. The only way he could have seen it was if he would have had some kind of ultra bionic supersonic eyes that can see right through a players body.

As a ref I know those things can happen that you cannot see it and I must say that handball is one of the fouls that is missed most, simply because of that.

In fact I feel it was the assistant referee who made the biggest mistake. From the different angles you could see that he was not unsighted and he should have taken his responsibility by raising his flag. He didn’t but at the end of the day an old saying in the referee world is you do the game with 3 and you win or lose it with 3. (Nowadays also 4 or 6). But is never good for a referee to be in the eye of the storm if you want to go to a world cup.

If this would have been all that surrounded Martin Hansson I would have said: it was a one day off, one mistake and like I said he cannot be blamed for not being able to see a player’s body.

But it was also the same ref who had the Porto – Arsenal game and who made a mess by allowing Porto’s second goal. Was the handball of TH something you could say this is bad luck for a ref?  Maybe, but the goal he allowed Porto had nothing to do with bad luck. It had everything to do with bad refereeing and not known the rules.

I have written in two articles about the many mistakes he did make in that game so I’m not going to repeat them over here. One article in February right after the game and another article in April when our FA reminded us of how we should act in those circumstances in their magazines to the refs. So if you really want to know what rules he ignored you can find it on this site.

The fact is that missing something what you cannot see is something that is forgiven by FA and Uefa. It is the human factor. But clearly showing incompetence by not knowing the rules is something that Uefa or Fifa cannot ignore that easy. Those are things that can make or break a career from a ref.

So I was very curious to see if he would be included in the list of referees that would go to the world cup this summer. But to tell you the truth I was expecting Uefa and Fifa to send him.

If you take those two decisions you know that in the first one France was the benefiting country. You know France that country where a certain Mr. Platini comes from.

And the second decision was against Arsenal. You know Arsenal where there is a manager who is having many arguments with a certain Mr. Platini.

So I expected that Mr. Platini would reward ref Hansson with a place in the world cup. I even wrote it down in a never published article as we had enough articles on him and his decision in those days. I also wrote it down in the comment section in those days. I told you to keep your eyes open when the refs would be made public for the world cup. And so to me it was no big surprise to see Mr. Hansson’s name on the list.

But on the other hand, there seem to be other refs that have done some people some favours and had to be rewarded.  Because normally there would have been 24 refs going to the world cup and now suddenly Fifa has decided to name 30 refs. It really would be interesting to see why Fifa has changed this number suddenly. And it is very interesting to see where the refs are coming from.

Two refs come over from New Zealand and also two refs from Mexico. I don’t know what their special merits are to allow people from those 2 countries, who are not known for their high standard in football, to send two refs to the world cup.

Or maybe it has something to do that they are a bit more “controllable” in the hands of Fifa? I will try to keep an eye on this during the world cup. As I really don’t care who will win it I think I can be considered a fair judge on refereeing issues in the world cup. I don’t know what Tony’s up to with the world cup but if he thinks it is a nice thing to fill up the dreadful dead season we face I will be glad to provide my view on the refs in the world cup. So it will make it a bit more interesting for myself and give me something to do.

O yes, for England a certain Howard Webb is going to the world cup. He “deserved” it most. I know what some people mean when they say “deserved”.  You can fill it in as you like.


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Editorial epilogue: The use of Cliff Richard lyrics in articles on this site is not the official policy of the editorial team and any repetition of this activity will be severely punished by the Untold Mafia, Rutland.

9 Replies to “Rewarding the loyal refs for their dreadful decisions”

  1. If I may ad another epilogue to this article.
    Today in our press was mentionned that a mr. David Triesman would have said that Russia would want to help Spain to bribe refs on the world cup if Spain would redraw from the official bidding for the world cup 2018.

    Now that is a very intresting thing to say. In fact this confirms what I have said a few times on this site that there are some things that happen behind closed doors in terms or corruption. In fact this article was written before I knew this thing that came out today in the press in Belgium.

    So a very high placed person speaks about bribing refs as being part of the game. Because if people want to buy refs to be able to organise the World cup why would they not buy refs to win the world cup?

    Off course now his words have come out in the open he had to step down. Like I have said before : you don’t (openly) break the omerta in the football world.

  2. Walter,

    It has been said in ancient books that the executing of the laws is held with the utmost respect as well as the responsibility to do so. If not followed the executers shall be held in higher account than the rest. And, so every word you utter in regards to the laws of the game I cherish and the willing breakers of the laws blemish the game. And, those refs who willingly break the rules set forth blemish the game and so shall be responsible 10 fold.

  3. I think that if refs arent made do interviews after matches to explain some of teh decisions they make during games nothing will ever change.
    Managers are made do so why not the refs ? if its a mistake hey its a mistake when someone asks you why do you not even know the rules in the rule book with so many millions watching they would be forced to improve the standards of ref’s.

    When your only answerable behind close doors it becomes a sham.
    However not enough of people in the media want to highlight and push for change as the likes of certain news papers love the print and contreversy the talking points we are stuck in the 1940s in the UK every area of our game is expected to improve but hey dont mention the ref’s or goal line technology etc.

  4. Two refs from NZ? One from England…and not even the best one? Definitely something smells.

    Out of interest, can anybody remember a faultless refereeing performance in the PL this year? It is said that on average a ref will make 4 mistakes in a game…a player 10-12. Best by far for me was Mark Clattenberg when we lost to the spuds. I couldn’t even ask “Who’s the bastard in black?” to excuse our defeat.

  5. Redgun,
    I know in Holland it is common to interview the ref after the game.
    They even take the ref in front of a TV and show the images of the game. And so I have seen images when (a) ref(s) after a game saw he made a mistake. In Holland you are seen as a big man when this happens and you can tell in front of the camera’s : It looks like I have made a mistake and I appologise for this.
    After that the case is closed and people in Holland accept it. yest it can happen.
    This also is good for the refs in fact because admitting you made a mistake makes you stronger and should make you more determined to not face the media again. So you will do your best to avoid this situation as much as possible. Admitting a mistake in front of million people watching is never easy.

    And when there is a ref that has to make his excuses every week the football association will remove him from this task as a ref as soon as possible.

    So I really think it is a win win situation. Refs will be sharper to avoid to eat humble pie in public and refs that ar not up to it will be spotted easier. (If the Fa wants this to happen)

  6. Good article Walter.

    This also confirms my suspicion as to why FIFA do not want video technology as it makes it harder to cheat.

  7. Well done Walter.
    I think now people will start thinking that something going on behind closed door with Fifa and i also not surprised if bad referring happen in the world cup especially when small country vs big country. Example, Italy vs Aust in world cup 2006. Aust should’ve won that game instead the ref gave the penalty. As an Aust, i’m still disappointing by that decision.

  8. Well, well, well! 30 refs indeed. 2 each from football powerhouses like Mexico and New Zealand. Great post Walter.

    The lesson I have drawn from this is the more pwerful FIFA becomes, the more they resort to their well known duplictous tactics; i.e. appease the Confederations which have no power in terms of big leagues, incorporate and corrupt them once they are within the inner circle (like the Mafia). The system is self-sustaining unless and allows for no change from within. Currently the only realistic threat to the corrupt use of referees is goal-line technology. No wonder Blatter asand company are fighting this loss of a single lever of power.

  9. Yes Shotta and dupsffokcup, you hit the nail on the head. Any videotechnology could reduce the power of the ref on the field. A machine can not be influenced (it actually could but let us not go that far for the moment) but a ref can be influenced.
    If one tells a ref that they would love to see a certain country go through and that it would help that ref to stay himself in the world cup and earn much money… what do you think he would do. Ask the question to yourself… what would you do?

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