After so many years watching so many games, it is genuinely stimulating to see something for the first time – and that is the experience I was recently fortunate enough to have in Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Maracana stadium.
The … Continue
Brazilian centre forward Jo made a one man bid to introduce a winter break to the English game while he was at Everton, on loan from Manchester City. He flew home for the festive season – and ended any chance … Continue
The referee, of course, takes the field in order to enforce the laws of the game. But how much responsibility does he have to ensure the quality of the spectacle?
A boxing referee, it may be remembered, can haul the … Continue
Today’s ex-referees turned pundits are not the first media celebrities the profession has spawned.
Britons of a certain age will remember Arthur Ellis, a top English referee who later traded his whistle for a dipstick, the measuring rod … Continue
South America’s version of the Champions League, the Copa Libertadores, plans to introduce video assistant refereeing (VAR) later this year in the closing stages. One of the staunchest advocates of the video ref, outstanding Brazilian journalist Andre Kfouri, is concerned.… Continue
It can be a lonely task to be the man out in the middle – so how much support should referees receive from the football authorities?
Brazil’s new refereeing supremo seems content to hang them out to dry. “After every … Continue
So many of football’s roads lead back to the World Cup of 1966.
On the field, the tournament marked the unveiling of 4-4-2, probably the most successful tactical formation in the history of the game.
Off it, the … Continue
On loan from Chelsea, Brazilian midfielder Nathan was on target for Vitesse Arnhem in their Dutch league game against Zwolle. He celebrated by taking off his shirt. The referee saw it – and did nothing. And he surely made the … Continue
After two and a half decades as a referee, twelve of them in Argentina’s top division, Pablo Lunati hung up his whistle and, at last, found himself free to fulfil one of the great father and child rituals; … Continue
As the Brazilian league season enters the home straight, it is open season once more on attacking the referees. The current debate in sports press is dominated by perceived mistakes. In the sports daily ‘Lance!’ three quarters of readers’ comments … Continue