Make your own free website on

Futbol World

France 98




" A Personal Red Card to FIFA and the Refs"

Article by Mohd. Alabbadi


As a huge soccer fan should, I was thoroughly looking forward to the
World Cup in France, and with all the highs and lows of the tournament, the
great goals and near's pretty disturbing that what sticks to my
mind the most is the terrible performance put on the refs in the worlds
greatest show. it seems the level of refereeing continues to descend and
this is causing a serious worry to all fans world wide. this year stands
out as many questionable calls have caused drastic changes in the outcomes
of not only the world cup, but other major championships as well. if one
takes a deeper look in what differences better refereeing could have can only imagine the possibilities. in the following I state
some examples, just off the top of my head, that some of you might have
witnessed...or possibly missed all together:

World Cup Incidents:

   * Italy Vs. Chile: Ref giving too much injury time in first half, more
than that shown by fourth ref, which allows Marcelo Salas to score an
equalizer. he makes up for it by giving a questionable penalty to Italy
late in the game, when R.Baggio played the ball in the defenders still

  * Spain Vs. Nigeria: Luis Enrique clearly tripped in the area, which
should have been a penalty and possibly a sending off to the Nigerian
defender, and Spain could have been 2-0 up at the time...could Nigeria have
ever found there way back of that??.

  * France Vs. Saudi Arabia: Referee sends off Mohd. Khilaiwi early in the
game, when replays show that Khilaiwi could have possibly not touched
Lizarazu, and Saudi force to play with 10 men early on. yet amazingly he
fails to send of French defender who brings down Sami Jabber in second half
when through on goal, a very clear red card situation.

* Iran Vs. USA: a very clear penalty for Iran wasn't awarded when Azizi
was brought down by Keller as he beat him in the area.

* Brazil Vs. Norway: the most talked about incident, where the American
ref gives Norway a non-existent penalty and sends them into the next round
over Morocco.

* Holland Vs. Yugoslavia: Referee fails to send off Bergkamp who clearly
stomps deliberately on the Yugo defender, a result which could have given the
Yugoslavians the edge and at least Bergkamp's absence would have effected
them in the querter finals onwards.

* Argentina Vs. England: possibly the worst called Penalty of the
tournament, Owen dives untouched and Shearer scores from the spot for
the equalizer.

   Not to offend anyone, but these calls were some of the clearest and most
obvious examples of the "questionable" calls in the World Cup. but not only
that, through out the season we witnessed this, non more than in the Serie
A where a series of suspiciously badly refereed games certainly helped
Juventus win there title (most notably against Inter-Lazio-Udinese and

  The cry of fans is as loud as ever, and the players and managers agree
that change is needed. perhaps now is the best time ever for PROFESSIONAL
REFS. refs risking losing there jobs would possibly work harder to avoid
mistakes and keep there feelings behind them upon entering a game. also,
the use of CAMERA REPLAYS is a must in vital decisions. many argue it will
"delay" the speed of a game, but doesn't player objections delay the play
of a game???. during a "questionable" call, the players will argue with the
ref. during this time, I think its very easy for the FOURTH REF to watch a
replay and discuss it with the ref, which would give more justice to the
game and not cause any effects on the speed of the game.

  There are many solutions that can come to any football fan's mind when it
comes to this issue, but the question is whether FIFA are willing to take a
look at these suggestions or not. with these loud cries heard, FIFA are
looking into the matter...we just have to wait and see what happens next.

Mohd. Alabbadi
" The Vampire Lestat"

Feel free to send any comments or suggestions to the author











referee1.jpg (12384 bytes)

Baggio executes the infamous penalty against Chile in the first round















referee2.jpg (17543 bytes)

Ariel Ortega headbutts Holland's Van der Sar to earn the least contraversial of many red cards in the tournament


Return to Futbol World

More on France 98