October 12, 2011

Fastest red card ever?

I just do not know whether that was the fastest red card ever issued in a FIFA competition. Yesterday, the Australian Peter Green was in charge of the WC 2014 AFC qualifier between Iran and Bahrain (6-0). He sent Bahrain's Al Hooti off - with a straight red card after a studs-up-tackle after just 38 seconds (the foul happened after 34 seconds):

I respect the courage of the decision, apart from the fact that Green was certainly right when sending the player off, I wished that more referees had the courage to not pay attention on the time but solely on the situation and its consequences.
I remember Trevor Taylor making a similar decision in a Gold Cup match.


  1. I agree. We have to point out his courage. Big call after a few seconds. He was ready and careful since kick-off: this is important.
    You are right, saying that many other referees often are afraid to show a red card in the first minutes of a match. Most of them would prefer a yellow.

  2. If it was yellow, I would be even content. German referees are mostly known as being lenient..I can or must observe that every weekend when referees like Kircher do not want to show yellows in the first 15 or 20 minutes. The players can do everything in this early stage, most of the German referees only talk and talk and talk.

  3. It's also a question of style, in my opinion there are referees accostumed to act in a certain way, and others in another.
    This is a speech about cards in the first minutes: but if we have a clear episode when straight red is needed, they MUST show it.

  4. That is right. Such fouls must be red carded. It does not matter whether it is Undiano or Kassai, different styles may not lead to different evaluations of brutal fouls..but honestly speaking, I cannot imagine that Kassai would have given a red card here.

  5. In my opinion, Kassai arrived too young to do everything he did.
    South Africa WC semi-final and final of the Champions League a year ago.
    Now it seems to be refereeing against his will, that is without the ambition that would help to do well in every game.
    I hope he recovers. I realize its merits but it seems to have become too cocky.
    I do not know if you agree.

  6. To be honest I was never a fan of Kassai.
    But we have to take into consideration that these so called "top referees" like Rosetti, Busacca, FdB, Undiano etc. had not their best World Cup. The same counts for the outstanding perfomances of Irmatov. Of course, he was great. However, I cannot imagine he got the same amount of matches if there were a Rosetti without Ayroldi's mistake and a Busacca not foundering on politics..
    Kassai showed three good perfomances and then he lost his cards at the hotel. The final appointment last season was a big surprise as he did not convince me in Internazionale-Bayern.

  7. by the way: did anyone watch Ireland-Armenia?
    I only saw highlights of Iturralde's match, the red card against the Armenian goalie was wrong.
    I will watch the full match later.

  8. Today I found an old (May 2008) article of UEFA.com dealing with a UEFA referee talent meeting..interesting to see the differences of who developed how and who has not managed to develop:
    (German version):

    Folgende Schiedsrichter-Talente nehmen an diesem Seminar teil: William Collum (Schottland), Gardar Orn Hinriksson (Island), Albert Toussaint (Luxemburg), Lee Evans (Wales), Alexey Kulbakov (Belarus), Alexei Nikolaev (Russland), Istvan Vad (Ungarn), Dejan Filipovic (Serbien), Sascha Kever (Schweiz), Peter Rasmussen (Dänemark), Babak Guliyev (Aserbaidschan), Hannes Kaasik (Estland), Cüneyt Çakir (Türkei), Aleksandar Stavrev (EJR Mazedonien), Marcin Borski (Polen), Robert Schérgenhofer (Österreich).

    Gruppe der Elite-Talente: Martin Atkinson (England), Felix Brych (Deutschland), Nicola Rizzoli (Italien).

  9. You can have any opinion you want about Kassai, but do not forget that many "big names" were not able to achieve what Kassai did in 2010 and 2011. Kassai is an excellent referee, who feels the game. The best referees are those who are able to manage their matches through their own personality. The cards are tools that should be used only when needed. There are different referees with different styles and personalities; the most important is how they manage a match, not the cards count.

  10. That sounds of course nice, that cards are only tools etc. However, the main thing you must pay attention to is the rule book and it certainly cannot be that Kassai misses three penalties in a CL match and is nonetheless said to have performed well and to have refereed the match Bayern-ManCity with a good style and strong personality.
    That is a no-go, rules are rules..

    I totally agree that it is different when Kassai is one the pitch, he is on one level with the players, perhaps cos he is young and his decisions are appreciated by players. You will never see Undiano laughing with players like Kassai.

  11. Why you do not want to accept that Busacca's trio did a mistake similar to Rosetti's trio? Please watch again the offside prior to the PK + red card given against South Africa. If the offside would have been called, as you say, by the book, there would have not been a penalty and a red card. It was a huge mistake and he fully deserved to be sent home.

  12. Of course he made a mistake, Arnet should have flagged offside, I totally agree. I do not know where I said something different.
    I only said that nobody had thought that Kassai or Irmatov would have been able to get so many matches as there were others I even considered as final option.
    If Busacca deserved being sent home (one can say that FIFA normally sends referees home for making a tournament influencing, match decisive mistake..), why is then Lannoy in two matches, why is he in a r16 match as 4th, why the hell is Undiano in three matches?! Sorry, but one can say that Klose's 2nd YC was no real mistake, but such a refereeing, no, this time I must call a spade a spade. Referees like Undiano destroy modern football by their way of refereeing. It is easy for FIFA to say: "Busacca made a mistake, Arnet missed an offside position, match decisive mistake, he will be sent home". FIFA should finally recognize that there is also the apsect of wrecking a match, its flow, and therefore an influence on the match. If a referee whistles 50 fouls in a match, even the smallest decisions can influence a match.
    However, that was not the topic...again, well done Peter Green :cheers:

  13. Everybody knows Undiano is the worst referee in the world, Undiano never smile to players, Undiano ruins games (simply a coincidence that was a German match, just coincidence)...Undiano is overestimated...everyone knows that. You seem angry when talking about this, remember neutrality...

    About the topic, superb decision by Green. That's not about courage but fairnes, justice.

  14. Of course I am angry..neutrality is nice, one cannot always hide being a football fan or enthusiast.
    Actually you are right, why is that courage? It is only a correct decision, that is how it should be. Everyone who has already refereed games knows that there however must be some courage to send a player off after 38 seconds.

  15. Great decision and I praise Green just as everyone else has. I wonder, though, if the call would have been as easily made if it was against the home team? I know we, as referees, aren't consciously biased; but the influence of 80,000 Iranian fans in Tehran is not something that can be overlooked.

    As far as the Ireland-Armenia match goes, I am fascinated by the first red card decision. To start, the Irish player handled the ball to trap it, which was missed. Then the red card call against the goalkeeper is seemingly wrong. What I don't understand is how the call was made. The AR continued to run and did not flag, so it appears Itturalde Gonzalez blew the whistle on his own. But how did he know the handling (if it occurred) was outside the penalty area? It doesn't make any sense. He looked to his AR for help... was he asking about the handling or about the position? I'm very confused by the whole situation. What would have happened if the AR had said he was still in the penalty area?!?!

  16. Hmm good question.
    First of all, I assume that Iturralde was too far away to evaluate the first call (the missed handball). The only thing I can imagine is that Iturralde was too fast with the whistle, Yuste perhaps saw it correctly that it was no real handball (it was between ellbow and brest) and did not flag for this reason. There was eye contact between both and after this Iturralde showed red. I can imagine that Iturralde only asked Yuste whether it was a clear goal attempt etc., cos there are some situations outside the box when a yellow is enough, for instance when the distance was very small etc.

    Back to Green, I agree with you.
    In Germany there was a study published a few years ago that referees are influenced by surroundings and tend to prefer the team which is closer to the referee's origin or cultural preferences.


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