Portugal VS Netherlands-Russian referee Valentin Ivanov

I think he did the best he could under the circumstances. It was a horrible game to be a referee for. I would ask the critics how his performance could have been better.
I think every red card and yellow card seemed justified.
The only thing he should have done was get the two captains together and lay down the law. If that did not work, he should have talked to both coaches.
The players were the culprits. You can not blame the referee for the players’ actions.

I didn’t see the whole game, but pretty much every card I saw was really soft. Just because there’s a foul doesn’t mean you have to pull out a card. I know FIFA has said to be more strict, but this tournament is ridiculous.

I lost track of the cards.

But Boulahrouz’s second yellow was a horrible call. But considering he was lucky not to get a red earlier, he really can’t complain too much.

While most cards were called for, I think Deco’s second yellow was not required. Players often pick up the ball, move a few steps, and return the ball to the opposing team to take the free kick. There was no time-wasting intent in Deco’s actions, from my point of view. Further, if he gave Deco a yellow for the incident, he should have given Cocu a yellow (or even a red) for throwing Deco to the ground trying to get the ball back from him.

Ricardo’s yellow card was totally uncalled for. There was a player injured in the box, therefore Ricardo did not take the goal kick. Any player would do the same in the circumstances.

There were quite a few incidents that the ref did not see, which led to the deterioration of the situation.

While most cards were called for, I think Deco’s second yellow was not required. Players often pick up the ball, move a few steps, and return the ball to the opposing team to take the free kick. There was no time-wasting intent in Deco’s actions, from my point of view. Further, if he gave Deco a yellow for the incident, he should have given Cocu a yellow (or even a red) for throwing Deco to the ground trying to get the ball back from him.

Ricardo’s yellow card was totally uncalled for. There was a player injured in the box, therefore Ricardo did not take the goal kick. Any player would do the same in the circumstances.

There were quite a few incidents that the ref did not see, which led to the deterioration of the situation.

Boulahrouz’s second yellow was arguably a red card offence in itself (elbowing Figo in the face), so he could have been sent off for either of the offences for which he was cautioned. Regarding Deco’s second yellow card, of course he was attempting to waste time by the very action of picking the ball up in the first place, when the free kick had been awarded to Holland. Referees have been instructed to caution players for such offences, and Ivanov did what was required of him in this regard last night.

On the other hand, referees do not (and should not) ordinarily take action against a player like Philip Cocu for attempting to wrest the ball back from an opponent who is preventing its release. If you watch the main football leagues in Europe on a week-by-week basis, you will see that such “handbags”, as it’s sometimes called, is dealt with by referees as Ivanov did, with an attitude of "get on with the game ". Further, in such situations, players will almost always fling themselves to the turf, no matter how minor the contact has been.

Diving and especially feigning injury (for example, clutching the face when contact’s been made on the chest) is a blight on the game, and needs to be addressed by FIFA. African teams have been particularly given to this form of cheating at theses World Cup Finals. Something to work on ahead of South Africa 2010.

The diving/feigning injury in this World Cup has been far less than in previous World Cups, precisely because FIFA has laid down the law and (most of) the players have gotten the message. And Deco knows perfectly well that picking up the ball to stall the game is something for which the referee must give a yellow card. Frankly, I think this World Cup has been officiated exceptionally well, all-in-all, and I hope the harsh measures send a message that is eventually heeded by all players. Ivanov made some mistakes, but the hue and cry over his “losing control” of the match is absurd. Both teams simply failed to calm down once the cards started flying, and they are the real culprits in this debacle. People need to stop paying so much attention to the ESPN commentators. And Balboa needs to think before opening his mouth. He also needs a fucking haircut. This ain’t 1991, bro.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter and the rest of FIFA are the main problem. They give referees (ridiculous) directives and then criticise the ref when he follows their instructions. Who would be a ref ?

What else do you expect when you let Ryan Stiles ref a match?

I agree that Blatter is duplicitous and cowardly, but I think FIFA’s directives are spot-on. I’ve advocated harsh measures to get control of the game for a couple of decades. I’ve played footy since 1970, and I’ve never failed to get control of myself when I knew that not doing so would result in the referee following through on a promise to book me next time. The reason diving and such like got to be so bad is that players were not convinced they could be punished for it. Harsh measures now will make for a more enjoyable game in the future.

Hear! Hear! I wrote about the match in the MPSIMS “knock-out stages” thread as soon as the final whistle went, and thus untainted by commentaries, analyses and newspaper reports. It’s disappointing, but hardly surprising, given their track record, that many media folk (desperate for a headline) are blaming the referee (common assertions are that he lost control and “lost the plot”). But this doesn’t mean he did lose control any more than a whole group of people swearing that a mouse which got in the cookie jar is in fact a cookie, makes that mouse a cookie.

Very good. I knew I’d seen him somewhere before!

The media folk have jumped on this game for a story. The game was actually a fairly good one. Lots of shots. There could have been 5 goals. If not for the cards, this would have been described as one of the best games of the tournament.
The media have just pumped this up.

Yes he did lost control, badly, and ESP what? :wink: As kevegan says, a decent ref can sort out most situations without flashing cards at every player. Once the yellows start flying as they did last night, all sense of perspective is lost, every foul become a potential card, so there’s no incentive to stop playing dirty.

I think the reason that diving has declined is that players have no need of it since the referees are blowing the whistle for perfectly clean tackles. Hell players are even being booked for tackles that are all ball.

Ding!

Okay, now referee this match in the style of… 1970s porn.

I don’t understand everyone saying the ref lost control of the match. Other than the elbow to Figo’s face that really wasn’t, and the Deco timewasting, pretty much every other card was a rather serious foul. I’ve never seen a match with more late and harsh challenges- studs up, tackles after the ball is gone, two legged challenges, etc- what is the ref to do but issue cards? The players lost control, not the ref. A ref’s only recourse to a violent match is either talking to the players- which he probably couldn’t as he is Russian-, and issuing cards, which he did. The flow of cards did not stop the rough play, so what else could he do- call the match off? And why would a player of Deco’s skill pick up the ball and try and hold it, knowing it is wrong, knowing a card may come? And why do players like Figo fake injuries, and why do all the Dutch players dive? Blame the players, not the ref.

Ijust wanted to say that I was glad Deco got that second yellow. it has always been one of my pet peeves when a player deliberately picks up a ball and won’t release right away.

I couldn’t disagree with this more, I’m afraid. I think the diving at this Cup has been atrocious, and it’s been bred entirely by the sudden increase in yellow card frequency. We already have more red cards than in the history of the Cup, with 12 matches remaining. And yet there has been one yellow (count 'em) for diving. One. How can this possibly be sending any message other than that diving works?

Re: Ivanov, I maintain that the game was ruined by his performance. According to the match statistics, he gave two yellow cards for every three fouls committed; a ridiculously high ratio. And while the players undoubtedly became more fractious later in the match, compounding the situation, I believe this was largely caused by the ill-feeling generated by the innumerable bookings. Had the referee not committed himself to such a ridiculous level of pickiness, he would have had the scope to calm the match down. That said, I agree with blinkingblinking that Blatter et al are equally culpable; it’s simply moronic to pretend you can suddenly start clamping down on foul play at a World Cup; the standards of behaviour you expect need to be inculcated at league level. Otherwise you just see a whole bunch of sendings-off and suspensions. And lo! that’s what we’ve got.

As I’ve said before: let’s get some rugby style refereeing into the game, return some proper respect and give the ref the authority to actually influence the game for the better. But let’s not wait until the next World Cup.

THis is what I don’t understand. Folks are saying the referee lost control of the mathc AND he gave out too many yellow cards. That does not make any sense. THe ref seemed to be sending a clear message to the players and they ignored it. I just don’t see how the ref can be blamed for the infantile behavior of the players.