The discussion PGMO won’t allow in England, and how it is corrupting football

By Tony Attwood

SC Freiburg gained a point against Mainz at the weekend, after first falling behind in the match.   

Now I know that is hardly a matter for debate on Untold Arsenal much as we do like to stay in touch with European football.   But this one incident shines a very, very bright light on the extremely dubious doings of the PGMO and it needs to be explored.  Even though of course you won’t be allowed to read a word of what follows in the English media.  Or hear it debated on radio or TV.

Because on this occasion the match referee, Deniz Aytekin, admitted after the game that the VAR review should have resulted in a different result.   And that is something you will never, ever hear in Premier League football – because it would affect the god-like image of PGMO and its staff.

So two questions arise: why did the referee in Germany say this, and why can’t it happen in English football?

In the game in question, which occurred this past weekend, Mainz 05 took the lead at SC Freiburg on the half hour. The goal was in keeping with the way the game was going, except that the goal should not have counted.  But it was given, even by VAR.

However after the game, on Sky TV in Germany, the referee, Mr Aytekin, a Fifa referee who is ranked as a Uefa elite category referee, explained why the left-footed shot should not have resulted in a goal.  (We could actually pause and marvel at this – something utterly unthinkable in English football – the referee comes on TV to be interviewed – but there is more to the story so we must proceed).

“We actually checked the handball. The focus was completely on handball,” and VAR confirmed that there had been no handball.  But that wasn’t the point.   As the referee then pointed out in the interview the goalscorer was offside and “the goal shouldn’t have counted.”

And this was not a comment made in the light of evidence from an obscure camera angle – it was revealed on the replay and Mr Aytekin admitted the mistake in no uncertain terms. Indeed he clearly stated, “the video assistant focused on this handball” as indeed did the Freiburg players. 

This was why, when viewing the images, the VAR referee did not check offside.  Mr Aytekin, was quite clear in the interview, concluding, “It slipped through in the end … that’s annoying, but the goal shouldn’t have counted.”

Having made these comments (which would be quite impossible in England because as we note every season, due to the fear of PGMO that something like this might slip out, referees are forbidden from commenting) Mr Aytekin received support from Freiburg coach Christian Streich, who said that “such mistakes” can happen.

He added, “You always think it can’t be that something like that happens, but we all make mistakes and can’t explain why afterwards.”  Although the goal scorer was clearly standing in an offside position “you would imagine that offside should be checked. But through focussing on checking the hand the VAR team forgot to check offside.”

The coach of Freiburg then we on to applaud the work of the referee.  “Mr. Aytekin can’t help it because he simply didn’t see it. I think it’s good that he simply apologized and stood up for his colleagues…That’s the way to do it.”

But of course it doesn’t happen like this in England because discussions about referees are minimised in the media, and there most certainly cannot be any interviews with the referees.  PGMO referees have to have a designated car in which a designated driver drives them away from the ground (presumably for fear that they might become impregnated with thoughts of an unacceptable kind if they drove away with anyone else.)   And no one in the mass media publicises the number of times the same referee gets the same team.

The question in England ought to be why?  Why are the PGMO so fanatical about secrecy – fanatical in a way that makes PGMO and English refereeing a laughing stock across Europe?  What has PGMO got to hide that makes it act in this way?  And why will the media not even discuss the fact that they are not allowed to discuss the workings of PGMO?

Of course we don’t have a man on the inside, so we don’t know, but generally speaking organisations that adopt this level of secrecy do so because they have something very serious to hide.  The question is, what?


16 Replies to “The discussion PGMO won’t allow in England, and how it is corrupting football”

  1. It is a pity that refs don’t have an opportunity to explain a decision after a game but back in the early days of the PL a referee called Paul Durkin did just that following a game at Old Trafford alas following that interview he was taken to task by pundits, the press and indeed supporters but sadly this sort of communication came to a grinding halt because of the backlash.

    Here’s SAF comments

    One of the reasons the refs are chauffeur driven again is because of the problem that they and their assistants had gaining access to grounds. The abuse and threats of violence they had ( I witnessed it myself on a couple of occasions) made it far too intimidating indeed the idea that the officials meet up at an out of town hotel, have a meal do their preparations together and are transported as one to and from the game is far from unique to the PL it’s best practice worldwide

    The point about the VAR mistake it’s an interesting one because, rightly on one hand even though the PL VAR takes far too long but they to be fair would almost certainly would have identified the offside but there has to be a balance

  2. I’m repeating myself but so are we all….

    To me it is :

    Complete and utter incompetence added to indefinite arrogance, mismanagement and stupidity

  3. “Of course we don’t have a man on the inside, so we don’t know, but generally speaking organisations that adopt this level of secrecy do so because they have something very serious to hide. The question is, what”?

    I am also repeating myself.

    It’s because they are refereeing to an agenda set by the media. They are not refereeing to the Laws Of The Game. Therefore the more ambiguity. The lees accountability. The better.

    Jeez, could you imagine them trying to account for some of the horrendous decisions they’ve made this year alone ? It would be the best new comedy show on TV !!!

    Simple example being the incident in the Woman’s match against Man City. It was a clear black and white decision. If the ball hits the referee and sets a promising attack in motion, which it obviously did as they scored from it, play MUST be stopped. How on earth would the referee answer questions about that ?

    She could say one of 2 things.

    1) I don’t know the rules.

    2) It was Arsenal so I allowed play to continue.

    It is a 2 year old rule amendment. How could she not know it ? I knew it. Other untold readers knew it.

    The answer would have to be 2.

    Alternatively you could just fine Arsenal for having the temerity to expect a referee to apply the rules.

    Oh yes, that’s what they did.

  4. Nitram

    I too thought in the build up the ref should have halted play and the only explanation I can offer up is that the ball from the deflection went backwards . Now I can’t find anything to suggest that’s right but every example I can see of what is defined as a promising attack talks about the ball going forward

    Here’s the IFAB wording

    If the ball touches the referee or another match official and goes into the goal, or results in a change of possession or a promising attack, a dropped ball will be awarded.

    As an aside what was your take on the handball in the Chelsea v Arsenal ladies ?

  5. Mike T

    No mention of backwards forwards or sideways in the IFAB wording. Promising is promising. If the ball is pulled back from the by line, hits the ref and falls at the un marked strikers foot on the penalty spot I assume that’s ‘promising’. The direction the ball travels to reach him/her is therefore completely irrelevant I would of thought.

    I didn’t see the match.

  6. Mike T
    Re the hand ball in the ladies Chelsea v Arsenal match yes in my opinion it was a penalty , did the referee see it ? Was the referee evening things up when maybe as Arsenal should of had a penalty earlier in the game after made a clumsy tackle in the first half . I don’t understand how referees make their decisions in both mens and ladies games anymore it’s totally lack of consistency , what happens in one doesn’t happen in the next .

  7. Mike T

    Been and had a look.

    Also found the following explanations regarding the handball rules:

    Summary: The IFAB Laws of the Game defines handball as “the deliberate act of a player making contact with the ball with the hand or arm”. The goalkeeper is exempt from this rule inside their penalty area, but has the same restrictions as any other player outside their box. A ball off the shoulder is not handball.

    The following must be considered:

    1. The MOVEMENT of the hand towards the ball
    2. The distance or PROXIMITY between the opponent and the ball
    3. The INITIAL POSITION of the arm

    “If the ball hits a player who has made their body “unnaturally bigger” then a foul will be awarded.

    IFAB says that having the hand/arm above shoulder height is rarely a “natural” position and a player is “taking a risk” by having the hand/arm in that position, including when sliding”.

    So having seen it I would say.

    It wasn’t hand to ball. Therefore not deliberate.

    The ball was played from close proximity. Therefore no chance of moving arm away.

    The arm was away from the body but not above shoulder height, plus it was away from the body as a natural part of the defenders attempt to block the cross.

    It is subjective and I’ve seen them given, as they say, but on balance I don’t think it was a penalty. To be fair if it was the other way round I would want a penalty, but that still doesn’t mean it was a penalty.

    I believe we had a good penalty appeal turned down as well for a foul towards the end of the first half, but unsurprisingly it’s not on the Chelsea TV youtube clip I have watched.

  8. Tony you may have seen this , I’ve just read an article on Le Grove web site titled , Evidence Piling up against refs , will Arsenal fight back .
    It shows a video clip of Michael Oliver officiating a game where two(2) bad fouls are carried out by one(1) player inside 2 to 3 seconds of one another and guess what only one(1) yellow card was issued .
    It’s Arsenal ,I can , nothing will happen , life goes on

  9. Nitram

    The whole question of handball has become more and more confused as much as s anything because the IFAB have tried to make it easier to understand.

    As far as I could be certain I would have expected it to have been given if VAR had been used. Although having seen the West Ham goal against Leicester I am as confused as ever.


    That clip actually shows that Oliver did just what the laws says he should do

    It’s a very odd one but if a player has attempted to or indeed fouled an opponent but because it’s a promising position then the fact advantage is played takes away the refs ability to caution the player.

    Here’s the law read the very last bit

    , “If the referee plays the advantage for an offense for which a caution/sending-off would have been issued had play been stopped, this caution/sending-off must be issued when the ball is next out of play. However, if the offense was denying the opposing team an obvious goal-scoring opportunity, the player is cautioned for unsporting behavior; if the offense was interfering with or stopping a promising attack, the player is not cautioned.

  10. Mike T

    I thought the West Ham goal was handball, but as you say it’s a mess.

    If that had been given, if yours had been given, I wouldn’t really of argued.

    Both could go either way.

    I have said before that to take any ambiguity out of it, just make hand ball hand ball. If it hits the arm/hand it’s hand ball. No debate.

    Yes of course you will feel hard done by sometimes but at least you’ll know it was fate, or bad luck, or good luck, depending on whether it goes for or against you, and nothing to do with a referees, or VAR’s, personal interpretation.

    Fate, or Luck, usually does even out in the end, I certainly don’t believe referees decisions do.

    I would take our chances with fate over our chances with referees all day long.

  11. I have seen this mentioned in various places on the web today, but don’t have much confidence that things will improve. I did find the timing interesting. Unfortunately there is a paywall.

    The Premier League has announced an “overhaul” of refereeing to improve standards.

    Whatever next

    Jonathan Moss and Lee Mason will be referee/VAR for our match against Brentford.

  12. On 12th February I forecast that the referee for our match with Brentford would be Atkinson, Attwell, Moss or Pawson.
    Well surprise surprise it is the magnificent adonis Jonathan Moss. Thursday 24th February Atkinson is in charge for the Wolves match. What incompetence awaits?

  13. In the ladies game I thought it was a handball & penalty to Chelsea. The two obvious penalties denied Arsenal do not come into it.
    What the conclusion is, is the PGMOL ladies are as incompetent as the rest. The PGMOL should be disbanded in the Law courts together with the FA and the game will suddenly become a sport worthy of the name.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *