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visiting

Thanks for your analyses!
I didn't notice Ronaldo wanting a free kick instead of the continuing play. Very interesting, and yes, it would be a bonus if a ref took the players skills and preferences into account. OTOH, it may not always be possible to know these for all situations.

About Spain/Croatia: I can't find any videos of the difficult scenes -- seems like UEFA is very quick with pulling these from Youtube.
But anyway... I think the Ramos/Mandzukic situation was a very close call. Could be justified both ways.
Apart from that, there was a scene where Mandzukic elbowed a Spanish player (Pique?) in the neck inside the Croatian penalty area. I don't remember the position of the ref at that time, but I thought it was an ugly deliberate foul deserving a red and a penalty.
And then, quite late, another claim for PK for Croatia when after a corner a Spanish player pulled one of the Croatians down, using both hands to hang onto the arm and shoulder. It was only visible in replay, in the middle of the usual pushing and pulling during a corner.

[Reply from Ed: Yes there were lots of incidents in this match, which may be one reason why Herr Stark and his crew will not be appointed to any more games.]

Wolfram

You have to wonder why UEFA would continue to go through the additional expense of supplying AARs to games when there is no apparent improvement in goal-line decisions.
Can't agree on the comment that the decision in the England - Ukraine game didn't have an effect on qualifying as a goal certainly could have changed the momentum of the game. (Of course you may argue that justice was served as an offside decision should have been made just prior to that.)
Any reason why AAR and AR are positioned on the same side? Seems that this technique blocks the vision of the AR. The "extra pair of eyes" is now just converted to replacing one set of eyes with another.

[Ed says: I agree about the momentum issue. we made the exact point for the Germany-England match in WC2010!
I have no idea about anything regarding the AARs. Someone felt that having him on the left interfered with the referee's mechanics; I don't see it that way. It seems that ARs may not be instructed to be concerned about the goal line between the posts, so blocking his vision makes no difference.]

Leigh W. Davis

Eh gads! Cakir's arm position is horrible.

Can we stop this AAR thing now?

The thing that really jumps out at me is the consistent inconsistencies. If Stark, Kuipers, and Kassai are being sent home for their (or their crew's) missing things, shouldn't Eriksson being joining them? He missed a couple of off-the-ball Dutch shots on Germans and didn't sanction Ozuil's ankle/achilles whack (for which I would have sent him off because of the risk of grievous injury) plus the Greece:Russia problems. Shouldn't Velasco Carballo still be here? He might have erred on the side of harshness, but no one's said he's missed much—not like others. Other referees let very heavy challenges go. Aerial challenges seemed to be sanctioned inconsistently.

As harshly as Velasco Carballo was pilloried in the refereeing world, I wonder if some of that or UEFA comments to the officials caused some of the leniency seen later?

I suppose there's some limitations to having so few referees present at the tournament. You have to keep most to cover the elimination rounds. Two-thirds of the officials will get 3 games. The focus level for such intense matches has got to be incredible. Can you really do that many that well that quickly? A few can. For example, Archundia in WC2006. But can most? Would a few more referee crews help matters?

Will be interesting. Keep up the good work.

A.

Doesn't it make more sense to have goal line tech and video review of those incidents and goals for offsides, instead of the extra officials?
[Reply from Ed: I expect we will see GLT soon now that Herr Blatter has decided to accept it, but no video review for anything else. I would not be in favour of video reviews of other incidents because these are judgement calls, not absolute facts.]

Sandip Vyas

Here is another perspective of the AR and AAR on the same and opposite sides, along with the potential view-coverage:
http://frominsideright.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/the-quite-literal-illustration-of-a-point/
AAR opposite to AR:
http://img593.imageshack.us/img593/4999/aroppo.jpg
AAR same side as AR:
http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/4026/arsame.jpg

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