Thursday, June 22, 2006

The defender who played so dirty they had to book him three times...

Tonight, Croatian defender Josip Simunic broke the world record for yellow cards: three in a game.

The English referee Graham Poll booked him for a rough foul in the 61st minute. In the 90th minute, he booked him again, but didn't realize he'd already booked him half an hour earlier, so he didn't show him a red card. Looking baffled, Simunic continued to play. Three minutes later, another Simunic had the bravado to actually protest a call and out comes the yellow card...for the third time! Only at this point did Poll realize he'd already booked the guy twice, and expelled him. Amid the vaudeville, Poll totally lost control of the game towards the end.

Worse still, FIFA is being accused of a bizarre cover-up, because the official match report omits any mention of the second yellow-card, though millions and millions of people saw it!

I don't think there is any precedent for this, not that I can think of. Poll's mistake, technically, could be grounds for annuling the whole game and playing again...which won't happen simply because it would send the schedule all haywire. Totally crazy.


Anonymous sire said...

Australia qualified anyway, so little use of protesting against the late expulsion. Referees were neither that good not that bad so far and let's keep in mind they do not have a 100 cameras and slow motions to base their decisions on.
Still the golden rule applies: the best referees are those that aren't spoken of after the match.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Francisco said...

They don't have 100 cameras and slow motions, that's true...they do, however, have a little book where they're supposed to jot down the number of the players they've booked, precisely to make sure they NOTICE they've already booked them. I mean, this isn't even a "bad call" in the traditional sense of the word, the guy plain old forgot the rules of soccer for 3 minutes!

7:39 PM  
Blogger A.M. Mora y Leon said...

First they were overcarding the US-Americans and now they are giving Croatia free yellow cards. Someone's got to talk to those people.

10:41 PM  
Blogger vergueishon said...

Ha, how many reams of yellow paper have we seen this world cup anyway? Anyone care to guess-timate? O.K., it's probably not more than a long-winded college paper, but still...

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Miguel E said...

Poll also missed the second hand ball by the Tomas in the second half. Quite a confusion at the end.
However, very happy for the Aussies, they showed their never-say-die attitude and fighting spirit, coming from behind twice.

12:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

by-the-by, Simunic is Australian born, to boot

7:30 PM  

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