Protests against referees in the world cup is growing, and the lack of regulation is obvious



by Tony Attwood

The Moroccan football federation has announced that it was refused “two indisputable penalties” in its world cup match against France and has spoken out to that effect, and has protested to Fifa’s refereeing committee (which of course operates in secret).

It says, “The Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) has sent a letter to the competent body in which it returns to the arbitration situations that deprived the Moroccan selection of two undeniable penalties in the opinion of several refereeing specialists,”

And they are not alone. The French federation has also written to Fifa’s disciplinary committee about the cancellation of Antoine Griezmann’s equaliser against Tunisia.  Once again VAR was said to be to blame for a wrong decision.

In fact, Morocco has put forward a long list of errors by referees and by the VAR system at the world cup stating it will “spare no effort to defend and preserve the rights of the national teams by advocating fairness in refereeing and denouncing these refereeing decisions taken during this semi-final”.

The growing argument is that Fifa manipulates games so that it gets a final that grips the world’s attention and goes down in history as a great game, rather than having a final between a dominant nation and a lesser nation which could be a one-sided contest.

In fact, the number of protests against downright odd decisions and serious errors at the world cup is enormous and rarely put together as a complete list, largely because so much of the media has invested so much in buying the rights to report and comment on it from Fifa.

Some issues are quickly forgotten (although not by those involved) such as the official Wales brass band having their instruments confiscated before the match against Iran, having previously been allowed to perform during the match against the USA.

Others include the disappearance of tickets for USA fans vanishing from the app that was supposed to recognise them for entry to the ground.

Some were completely bizarre as when Joaquín ‘El Pollo’ Alvarez an accredited Argentine reporter was interrupted by Qatari forces during an authorised live TV broadcast on the grounds that the street in which the filming was taking place was private.

Overall the cost of the world cup to Qatar was about £184 billion which seems obscene when one thinks of what else it could have been spent on, anywhere in the world.

Especially as documents obtained by The Sunday Times, showed by the state-run television channel Al Jazeera (now renamed beIN Sports, and run by a very senior official within Uefa) offered Fifa $400 million for broadcasting rights, three weeks BEFORE Fifa announced that Qatar would hold the 2022 World Cup.

In fact, some of the crazy activities started long before the World Cup. For example, eight years before the tournament started Fifa appointed an independent ethics investigator to look into bribery allegations that Qatar and Russia had bribed Fifa in order to be able to hold the tournament. It was announced subsequently that both tournaments were completely clean, to which the author of the report Michael Garcia replied that this was not what his report said at all, and that the Fifa-published version was “materially incomplete” 

And we should not forget that ex-Uefa president Michel Platini was arrested by French police in June 2019 in relation to the award of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. 

Thus from start to finish, the world cup was mired in controversy, from the allegations in 2014 that Qatar’s campaign has involved paying Jack Warner $2m for his support, through to publication in the Sunday Times that it had obtained e-mails, letters and bank transfers which proved that Bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Confederation during the bidding process, had paid more than $5 million to Football officials to support the Qatar bid.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  A full set of allegations would run to several hundred pages – and yet the media has lapped the tournament all up as if nothing is wrong.  Just as it did in Russia.

And they get away with it all, because there is no independent regulator of football.


7 Replies to “Protests against referees in the world cup is growing, and the lack of regulation is obvious”

  1. Referees and VAR officials being instructed to manipulate results by way of their decisions during games in order to facilitate a desired outcome. Surely not.
    Now where have I heard that possibility put forward before Tony? There is one easy answer to this and that is to have only English refs at future World cups, they are all beyond corruption I am sure!!!!!!
    Good luck Morocco, it’s about time someone challenged the officials at FIFA.
    I wish Arsenal had the balls to have done similar regarding the treatment they have received from the PGMOL since Riley took over as head, not that they would have got any support from anyone other than some of their own supporters (and of course Untold).
    Mind you it would almost definitely be a waste of time because we all know that such shenanigans couldn’t possibly happen in England, it’s only those foreigners who cheat on such a scale.

  2. This will never stop at any level, oh there might be the odd sacrificial lamb along the way but let’s face it as long as politicians are getting their cut there will be no Government oversight, from any country . it’s too big a cash cow for everyone.

  3. The problem we have with football is that it is such a low scoring game. There was a study carried out fairly recently that showed that the most common result in the Premier League was 1-0. It also showed that almost half the games resulted in the teams ending within 1 goal of each other.

    All this means that manipulating the result with just one vital decision is actually very simple. Add to that the subjective nature of so many decisions and you have a game that is very susceptible to either poor or biased refereeing.

    Even VAR hasn’t helped as it should because the subjectivity remains, not just of the calls they are reviewing, but as to whether they even bother to review it in the first place.

    When you have a game so open to corruption and a governing body so adept at corruption, well, the result is inevitable. I think we just witnessed it in it’s full glory, as we have done in the premier league on many occasions, though you wouldn’t believe it from how it’s reported.

  4. I thank Untold for their superb work in exposing the much less than honest approach to officiating football games , if a club stood out for what is right , that would likely be disaster for that club . This is not a lot different to early trade unionism ; the powers then transported these troublemakers . What got the workmen through was due to one or two things . One they were desperate and had nothing to lose and ; two , they really needed to unite to progress . So we have a problem that will need all 92 league clubs sticking together . Next those 92 must begin to put pressure on the FA and if the FA wont move through fear or greed then all 92 leave their authority and set up a fair system , from that point we need a Europe wide solidarity , now if PSG and their like baulk against this then quite simply they are expelled . TV money at the moment does what the country owned clubs want , well, let them have their fun with PSG playing Newcastle and Man C in perpetuity , its ok no ones interested therefore the TV money goes to the new set up . In the meantime those match officials will all have been sacked and a consistent non secret society , replaces the bilge and shenanigans we now experience . Its a long road , nigh on impossible but its the right thing to do.

  5. Nitram

    Very astute observation. Something to ponder, although those that should won’t.

  6. The US is far from the cleanest place on earth but if the English refs worked in America they would have trigerred a congressional hearing long ago. What;s your MPs doing about this? Surely they must watch football and anyone walking by a television must, sooner or later, notice something wrong with the refs.

  7. I have been in hospital this year for some health issues this year.

    Learning to walk again took quite a bit of my time and effort. I am now much better and have, I think, caught up with this site. Thanks for still being one of the only sites that shows the darker side of football.

    @Nitram your observations regarding this world cup are correct. I would add that I never thought that football could actually sink below the level of WWE but this one in Qatar has proved otherwise. This is not the first corrupt World Cup but hell FIFA now doesn’t even bother to try and be fair. I notice that there has been no “respect” campaign a la UEFA – that is quite telling! FIFA even changed the rules to suit their needs. I also noticed in their arrogance they are going aheaad with the Club World Cup – without getting agreement from top clubs. That should be fun!!!

    Please dont get me started on the joke VAR that has been in use. It is as though the PIGMOB template has been used lock, stock and barrel to get certain results. If an alien. or somebody who had never watched football came they would have a very difficult time working out what, if any, rules are being followed.

    It is criminal that people died to put this “reality show” on. FIFA could not give a damn about this just so lang as they make money. They then drop a few crumbs on “grassroots” football and make off with the rest whilst proclaiming only FIFA are the true “guardians” of the game.

    I used to love football but now the top level of the game is so sickeningly corrupt as to be worthless. I just wonder what the original founders of football would make of what corrupt “governing bodies” have done to it!

    Watching games requires one to suspend belief in reality. In fact I would argue that the games are a “hyper reality” where they only make sense if you watch them divorced from the real world. The worst part is listening to so called “experts” who are still trying to sell us a “sporting” event. Do they think that we actually believe them when they hint that there is no “fixing” at this level of the game? From just watching for a little while it is quite obvious that games have been almost directed like a theatrical drama from start to finish.

    I dont know what the answer to this is but @Les Martin I agree that it must be up to the leagues across the world to change. They MUST break away from ALL the current governing bodies. All of them only care about money to the exclusion of sport. Please tell me if this is not the case with a 48 team World Cup, a “Champions League” that excludes the vast bulk of individual champions from most countries of Europe an a Club World Cup that none of the leagues want!

    I agree that the only way is to start afresh, maybe along the lines of the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) or some such body. The Clubs MUST begin to realise that they have the power to change things and they must do it otherwise I cannot see much of a future.

    I, like Tony Attwod, have been reading the news items from other countries and it is quite obvious the “attractiveness” seems to be showing in lower television audiences across the board and general uninterest in the whole shabang. I have yet to meet anybody who is really enthusiastic about it. Sure you can say social media is really buzzing BUT I have seen cat videos that go viral so make of that what you will.

    I have had more fun watching my grandson play Sunday footbal that watching the “greatest show on earth”” but maybe there is more reality in that football than FIFA / UEFA / FA offerings.

    Many apologies for sounding so doom laden but this is how this World Cup has made me feel. I wonder if the WC 2030 will be held in Saudi Arabia. I know they have a jpint bid with Greece and Egypt but….

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