Changes needed for Cup refereesPosted: Sunday June 23, 2002 10:19 AM
Updated: Thursday June 27, 2002 1:45 PM
The same cannot be said about the refereeing in the quarterfinal clash between Spain and the co-hosts. Two goals were incorrectly disallowed, and overall, the work by the officiating crew was extremely disappointing.
I am not going to suggest there is a plot to take the Koreans to the final, rather make a point that FIFA must select more high-profile referees for the knockout phase of the World Cup to avoid a number of embarrassing mistakes.
In the quarterfinals, FIFA selected officials from Canada, the Maldives, South Africa, Egypt, Uganda and Trinidad and Tobago.
No disrespect to these countries, but how many high-profile and high-tension matches are there in their national leagues? Not many.
How can referees from these nations and other minor footballing ones be equipped to make objective decisions when a World Cup game is on the line?
I understand FIFA wants to make the tournament a global experience, but surely it does not want it to be tarnished by a series of refereeing mistakes.
If there are referees from Europe and South America who are used to officiating important games every week, then use them more often. Or hold an intensive and extensive camp before the World Cup especially for the referees from the smaller countries.
So then the talking point of a match will not be a disallowed goal, or a wrong sending-off... rather a fantastic goal or a piece of dazzling skill.
World Sport's Pedro Pinto will be reporting regularly from South Korea during the World Cup.