Argentina -v- Belgium

at 2014-07-05 19:06:39

In summary, there have been missed incidents but not of a critical nature by Referee Rizzolli. He remained calm under pressure and generally managed the game to a satisfactory standard. His player management could have been better with more forceful body language and techniques. Neither side will be talking about him as Argentina did a professional job against a Belgium team who didn’t show up until the closing stages. The far side assistant was the weak link in the team with shoddy signals, poor body language and questionable offside judgement. I bet Paul Rejer in America is shaking his head in disbelief! Rizzolli moved well, was generally in good positions but he needs to add more sparkle to his performance with additional work rate and more commanding and positive communication. Job done and I hope you’ve enjoyed our contribution to your enjoyment of the game. Contact us on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at and add your views of the game. Don’t forget to join us later tonight for Holland -v- Costa Rica. Thanks for your company this afternoon and goodbye from sunny Yorkshire.

at 2014-07-05 18:53:49

Free kick not awarded to,Belgium for a deliberate push. Why did he miss it? The better referees officiate to perception and expectation and deliver decisions that are not a surprise as they fulfil their duties to apply Law and offer full protection to creative players. Chances at both ends bring late drama but time has run out for Belgium – Argentina go forward to the semi- final.

at 2014-07-05 18:48:55

Injury in the last minute will help to kill the game for Argentina and the referee will need to display a credible amount of added time – 5 minutes shown.

at 2014-07-05 18:47:36

A great skill set of the Referee is in judging an acceptable level of physical contact between the players whilst maintaining their respect and trust in arbitrating fairly. This is a skill in establishing a balance between match control and allowing the game to breathe and giving increased enjoyment for the players and fans. The involvement and level of intervention may need to change if there is a rise in tempo. Players have a habit of not wanting to listen to the referee’s advice at corner situations and this needs firmer management.

at 2014-07-05 18:43:46

Last 5 minutes and a Belgium corner as they mount the pressure. Referee cooling it down. Before a correct offside kills the attack.

at 2014-07-05 18:42:04

Messi on Fellini in front of technical area before a tight offside denies Belgium.

at 2014-07-05 18:40:42

Ten minutes to go and concentration needs to be maintained to see the game to a safe conclusion. Another free kick in front of the technical area.

at 2014-07-05 18:38:51

By text – Ian M has asked what ‘cutting the grass’ means as mentioned at half time. It’s a cross arms motion like scissors to indicate – no offence.

at 2014-07-05 18:35:30

Offside by near side assistant  – correct. Offside judgement by Assistants has generally been very good but many have lowered their flags too quickly and not retained the flag to indicate the position of the restart. The exceptions were Messrs Cann and Mullarkey who demonstrated impressive techniques which were implemented in the UK when Paul Rejer was in charge of Assistant Referee. He is now working in America where I was delighted to meet him again at Dallas Cup 34 in 2013

at 2014-07-05 18:34:06

Yellow card for deliberate body check by Argentina. Spray can time again but a poor shot off target.

at 2014-07-05 18:31:47

Another foul challenge committed within a close distance of the technical area. The referee needs to demonstrate added awareness in this area of the field of play as players will be trying extra hard to impress their coach from close proximity as they challenge for the ball.

at 2014-07-05 18:30:16

70 minutes gone and another substitute – this time for Argentina. Poor offside decision by our far side assistant! Accurate offside judgement is vital but the Assistant job is not done until the ball is correctly placed for the restart and monitored accordingly. He dropped his flag when the whistle blew.

at 2014-07-05 18:27:18

Verbal admonish nets should be delivered with authority and players should not be allowed to walk away, tie their boots or fix their shin pads whilst it’s happening. It does undermine the referees authority. Reckless challenge and yellow card Belgium number 2. Correct decision.

at 2014-07-05 18:23:16

Time wasting by Argentina needs watching as it will cause Belgium player frustration and could ultimately threaten control.

at 2014-07-05 18:21:50

Corner awarded then changed his mind to get the right decision after Argentina players surrounded him! Remaining mentally alert and aware is vital for all the officials and also ensuring that correct decisions are made in a consistent manner.

at 2014-07-05 18:19:11

Kompany lucky to get the ball and referee acknowledged that but it resulted in a painful injury to his opponent.

at 2014-07-05 18:17:06

Substitution being prepared for Belgium. Beware of substitutions! As a referee the introduction of Substitutions can turn a game upside down. At any level referees must always be aware that a game can change on the introduction of new players. Either they will come on to disrupt play, be badly disciplined or attempt to show the manager that they should have been on from the start and score wonder goals. Added awareness from the referee is requires to manage all these eventualities.

at 2014-07-05 18:14:48

It’s all Argentina as they seek to get the second and decisive goal. Belgium need to get their act together but the danger to control is that their attitude may become extra aggressive and result in misconduct. Tempo management time? Managing the tempo of the game needs concentration of the highest order. Less advantage and more free kicks

at 2014-07-05 18:12:06

Foul given against Hazard and first Yellow card of game. It was a dreadful flag by far side assistant who added nothing to the referee control of the situation.

at 2014-07-05 18:10:24

Shot on target deflected behind for a corner to Argentina that resulted in another good cross but no goal.

at 2014-07-05 18:08:41

Good arm signals by the referee at throw-in situations. Good communication is important via whistle, signals and body language. We talk about variety of whistle blast to denote the severity of the offence, but with the better referees, firmness of signal serves a similar purpose.

at 2014-07-05 18:06:00

Foul By Kompany who held and tripped his spray – poor shot / goal kick.

at 2014-07-05 18:04:00

Second half underway. 45 minutes to go of hopefully good football and no referee mistakes!

at 2014-07-05 18:01:39

In answer to half time questions about the use of the derisory hand signal used by European referees to motion a player to get up, I would ask,this. Is the signal approved in the LOAF? No – because it is a bad signal! If no foul is committed there is no need to signal but the better referees will ‘cut the grass’ for incidents in the penalty area to show that they deem ‘no offence’. By using a ‘get up’ signal, the referee is telling the world and the assessor that he believes there has been simulation. It’ a signal that has no part in the game.

at 2014-07-05 17:56:45

TS at 2014-07-05 17:51:11

We’ll be back after a cup of Yorkshire Tea for more of the same during the second half. The Tour De France riders will no doubt be doing the same as they log into Refcam. Contact us on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at and add your views of the game.

TS at 2014-07-05 17:48:49

Time allowed of just 2 minutes! Not really enough with injuries, substitutions and a goal. No cautions so far and Referee Rizzzolli will be pleased with his performance which has been effective but lacking in the sparkle that defines the top drawer officials.

TS at 2014-07-05 17:43:42

Belgium almost equalise with a header just past the post. The game is alive and kicking as Argentina force a corner at the other end. Good fitness by the referee to cover the break.

TS at 2014-07-05 17:40:46

Free kick Argentina just outside penalty area. Spray can time – 9 man wall, but Messi fires over.

TS at 2014-07-05 17:38:58

Ten minutes to half time and there have been no serious challenges to the referee’s authority despite him missing or misreading situations. The foul by De Bruyne being a good example.

TS at 2014-07-05 17:34:29

Another injury and this time it results in a substitution. First time we’ve seen the 4th man. The 4th Official – Ben Williams from Australia – will be conscious of not being seen to be ‘micro-managing’ but at the same time will be keen to ensure the conduct in the technical area is within a clearly defined tolerance level.

TS at 2014-07-05 17:32:21

There have been many good advantages played in Brazil, but not any so retrospective action or sanctions against the player committing the foul! It is good referee practice to speak to both offending and offended against players and let them know that the foul has been seen and advantage played. I believe that advantage should not be played on a cautionable offence – far better to stop play and deliver the card. The exception would be when the advantage results in a clear goal scoring opportunity in the next immediate phase of play.

TS at 2014-07-05 17:31:18

Injury and a good time to take on fluids as the referee may reflect that he had a retrospective caution to issue! Contact us on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at and add your views of the game.

TS at 2014-07-05 17:27:04

Flag near side assistant for a foul – correct decision. His first involvement in the game.

TS at 2014-07-05 17:26:03

Positives from the World Cup have been the use of the spray can and the independent operation of the multi-ball scheme.

TS at 2014-07-05 17:24:26

Offside given by far side assistant- the first in the game.

TS at 2014-07-05 17:22:52

Remember that falling to the ground is NOT an offence under the Laws of the Game. Appealing for an offence, when there hasn’t been one qualifies for a sanction for the act of simulation. If a referee uses a ‘get up’ hand signal he is indicating that simulation has taken place and therefore should a caution follow?

TS at 2014-07-05 17:22:00

Hazard goes down after catching the foot of a defender but nothing given – rightly in my opinion.

TS at 2014-07-05 17:19:48

First 15 minutes of low-key officiating as the players are getting on with it. Push by Messi rightly given.

TS at 2014-07-05 17:18:08

Corner Belgium – holding ! Just when we thought it had stopped!!

TS at 2014-07-05 17:17:16

Free kick Argentina given from distance. He should have moved closer to deter any reaction.

TS at 2014-07-05 17:15:53

Corner awarded to Belgium by far side assistant – no holding on the penalty area! Is it now a thing of the past?

TS at 2014-07-05 17:14:08

Referee looks cool as he plays advantage with his arms closer together than recommended. He’s alert to quick breaks too as he moves forward on a Belgium attack.

TS at 2014-07-05 17:11:29

Another weak signal by far side assistant who is now starting to worry me.

TS at 2014-07-05 17:10:41

Now it requires heightened awareness to keep control of proceedings until the game settles down again. Goals change games!

TS at 2014-07-05 17:09:25

Goal Argentina – great finish Higuano

TS at 2014-07-05 17:07:24

Lazy signal by far side for a throw followed by indecisiveness on holding near the corner flag. First impressions for me of this assistant were not good!

TS at 2014-07-05 17:02:57

First foul in front of technical area by Argentina after jostling by both players.

TS at 2014-07-05 17:00:35

The whistle goes and we’re underway in a game that will take the winners to within a couple of games of being World champions. Kick off to Belgium.

TS at 2014-07-05 16:56:12

The preparation of the referee and his team will have been perfectly planned. We just hope that no one from FIFA has tried to have a word in his ear to adopt an over tolerant approach to the game. It needs to breath but be controlled. The nerves will be jangling during the National Anthems and hopefully settled when the whistle goes to commence the game.

TS at 2014-07-05 16:45:56

After watching the performance of the referee in last night’s game between Brazil and Columbia, we hope that this game will be officiated in accordance with the Laws of the Game, and that the excessively liberal tolerance level displayed last night will not be repeated. The unpunished foul on Neymar Jn which has put him out of the Tournament was one of excessive force and should have resulted in a red card. Similarly the foul challenge by the Brazil goalkeeper that resulted in a penalty kick to Columbia should have been punished with a red card. Argentina earlier expressed concern when a European referee was assigned to their game and they will probably be feeling the same today with an Italian referee in charge. It all makes for a fascinating encounter and I hope you’ll stay in touch and share your views on the game with us. Contact us on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at and add your views of the game. Greetings to Liverpool lad, Ed Bellion who moved to Dallas, Texas and made FIFA America. He’s watching us ‘live’ in Corpus Christie, Texas.

TS at 2014-07-05 16:19:07

05 July 2014, 18:00 CET
Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha, Brasilia
Referee: Nicola RIZZOLI (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Renato FAVERANI (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrea Edoardo STEFANI (ITA)
Fourth Official: Benjamin WILLIAMS (AUS)
Standby Assistant Referee: Matthew CREAM (AUS)