EURO 2016 – Final – Portugal v France

EURO 2016 – Final – Portugal v France

Commentary By: Guy Beale

FINAL SCORE: 1 - 0



Good night

GB at 2016-07-10 23:35:03

So its good night from me, and thanks again for all your comments on Twitter – please keep them coming!


FULL TIME SUMMARY

GB at 2016-07-10 23:27:52

Sorry about the delay there, as I had a technical problem

Here are the main points from the Referees perspective in that game:

  • This game was clearly in VERY safe hands right from the start and was excellently brought to a satisfactory conclusion.
  • Clattenburg is so consistent with all the basic refereeing skills he really is a role model for those aspiring to reach the top.
  • This profession is not rocket science, fitness, alertness, knowledge, body language and delivery – all these things were demonstrated quietly efficiently and effectively in a game which struggled to come to life, and the last thing this game needed was a referee who was going to be the centre of attention.
  • Job done Mr Clattenburg, your name will not be mentioned in the reports tomorrow, and that’s just the way you would like it. Those who know what was going on out there tonight will be talking about you though, and I doubt there can be many complaints out there about that performance.

Anyone watching the referee tonight (as opposed to the game), would really struggle to criticise another solid performance from the best referee in Europe and arguably the world at the moment.

This no doubt looked like it was “easy” at times, but as I mentioned in my blog, it was evident that this needed to be reigned it at all times, and the referee’s experience ensured that it never got away from him. Tempo management and excellent reading of the game was evident throughout and there were clear examples of pro-active man management in the early stages which paid dividends at the end.

There one talking point in the first half was the injury to Ronaldo, but that really could not be laid at the referees door for not seeing that as a free kick as the ball was played cleanly and the resulting coming together of the players was just “part of the game”.

In the pursuit of openness, it has to be said that the caution for Laurent Koscielny (France 21) in the second period of extra time was the one incident which caught me by surprise. The replays seemed to show Éder (Portugal 9) handling the ball, but one must assume that Koscielny got his hand on it first before the Portuguese player caught it. I mention this isolated incident only for the sake of balance – Mark Clattenburg is human after all, and luckily nothing came from the free kick anyway. Setting that aside, I fail to see how that game could have been managed any better!

And for the rest of the team, full marks for them too! Simon Beck had all the decisions to make from the line and delivered on all of them, Jake Collin had a quiet game but did what he needed to do. Both Andre Mainer and Anthony Taylor looked alert behind the goal-lines, and did not fail to come in when required.

4th Official: Viktor Kassai, may have been a little lenient with Ranaldo near to the end, and it would be wrong of me not to point that out – but this was not a game (or tournament for that matter), which will be remembered for the officiating.

Are you watching FIFA? The gauntlet has been thrown down now for Russia in 2 years’ time, and if you ask me, you don’t have to look too far for a manager to get the best out of the officials in that one!


More RefCam to come

GB at 2016-07-10 22:53:22

My final summary will follow very shortly.

I trust you have enjoyed our RefCam coverage throughout the European Championships, and please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at  Info@you-are-the-ref.com

Next weekend RefCam returns to the MLS for for the action from:

Montreal Impact v New York City 17th July, 10:00PM

Followed by

Sporting Kansas City v Seattle Sounders 24th July, 10:00PM

A list of all the big games coming up on YATR’s RefCam is always available at http://you-are-the-ref.com/ref-cam/ and we sincerely hope you will continue to follow this valuable resource for all football fans and referees alike.


122

GB at 2016-07-10 22:52:19

Full Time

And that is it

Portugal 1 v 0 France


120

GB at 2016-07-10 22:51:18

Yellow CardRui Patrício (Portugal 1)  for delaying restart in the final minute!


119

GB at 2016-07-10 22:31:32

I know it would not be popular, but the 4th official should really not be allowing Ranaldo to coach from the Technical Area


119

GB at 2016-07-10 22:30:03

great call for “not off-side” by Jake Collin


117

GB at 2016-07-10 22:28:06

Clattenburg’s stamina and energy showing right to the end


115

GB at 2016-07-10 22:25:42

Yellow CardPaul Pogba (France 15) unsporting behaviour.

All these yellow cards at the end prove the man management earlier as there would be few players left by now


113

GB at 2016-07-10 22:23:23

ooppps

Who spotted that! my bad

yellow card was for Laurent Koscielny (France 21) for the earlier hand ball who must have touched it with his hand before Eder


108

GB at 2016-07-10 22:19:50

No complaints from the from the players for that Yellow Card for Éder (Portugal 9)

and he certainly is not moaning now after that GOAL!

Portugal 1 v 0 France


107

GB at 2016-07-10 22:17:19

Clear high foot but only careless – not a second yellow card


105

GB at 2016-07-10 22:16:10

15 minutes to go as second period starts


GB at 2016-07-10 22:15:27

I know there have been a few dissenters out there, but most of the comments on Twitter are positive for the referee.

If you have not chipped in yet let use know what you think, and tell us which country you are Tweeting from


105

GB at 2016-07-10 22:13:23

Half time in extra time

Portugal 0 v 0 France


103

GB at 2016-07-10 22:12:09

Tensions begin to rise now with that petulance in the penalty area so the referee knows it is not all over yet. Of course, managing penalties these days takes a lot of skill and commitment to the laws as well!


GB at 2016-07-10 22:09:38

@youaretheref would that have been a yellow in the first half?

Good question Morten – but that is what tempo management is all about!


100

GB at 2016-07-10 22:08:24

Great to see Andre Mariner there on the goal line really looking like he was “up for it”


98

GB at 2016-07-10 22:06:38

Yellow CardBlaise Matuidi (France 14) – reckless play by the French player. This is where the referee’s experience shows through. Manage the expectations. If poor challenges go by without disciplinary action the games gets away from the official.

Yellow CardWilliam Carvalho (Portugal 14) and there is another one – unsporting behaviour again

Consistent refereeing


95

GB at 2016-07-10 22:03:53

Yellow Card Raphael Guerreiro (Portugal 5) for unsporting behaviour. Clear positive message sent out by the referee again that he will do what is required to keep the lid on this one


94

GB at 2016-07-10 22:02:14

Expect the free kicks numbers to go up in extra time as the players get tired


93

GB at 2016-07-10 22:00:51

@youaretheref exemplary just exemplary I bet he wishes he could bottle this purple patch and take it with him every time, no one near him…

@youaretheref Totally agree. Team Masterclass for 90 mins.

I dont mind saying I am right with the two of you there – Clattenburg best man on the field of play so far?


90

GB at 2016-07-10 21:58:35

Extra time is underway


GB at 2016-07-10 21:57:53

Well it may have looked like there has been little for the referee to gut involved with so far, but believe me, these games are a lot easier to mess up than to just cruise through!

The level of concentration and reading of the game is immense, as the less experienced official often “drift off”, and then get bitten on the behind (probably by a moth!).

Mark Clattenburg knows that this is “not about him”. Referees can only manage what is put in front of them, and at the moment he is doing all he needs to do and “keep out of it”. That said, on the few occasions he has needed to raise his profile he has done what has been required with no surprises so far.


93

GB at 2016-07-10 21:52:41

Extra Time

to come

Portugal 0 v 0 France


91

GB at 2016-07-10 21:51:42

Well that nearly put everyone out of their misery if that had gone in!

Any one will to suggest the game may come to life in extra time?


87

GB at 2016-07-10 21:47:59

Good call by Simon Beck then, looked like a Portugal  Throw-in to me. Clattenburg could be seen making good eye contact with his assistant as the throw-in was near to the half way line


85

GB at 2016-07-10 21:45:24

No off-sides in the game at all so far


GB at 2016-07-10 21:43:41

Yellow Card Samuel Umtiti (France 22) – cautioned for unsporting behaviour

 


82

GB at 2016-07-10 21:42:09

Things like the difference between a goa-lkick and a corner become even more important the long the games goes on


79

GB at 2016-07-10 21:39:25

Wow – what a goal that would have been. Great example of “not all overhead kicks are offences again” – no one near enough for it to be dangerous


77

GB at 2016-07-10 21:37:32

Awareness and alertness are the buzzwords now as we get close to the last 10 minutes. All the low profile good man management will all be forgotten if a big call comes and goes at this stage.


73

GB at 2016-07-10 21:33:49

That body language said it all by the referee then – “I know I am happy for you lot to challenge firmly, but that was just too much for me”. His reading of the temperature of this game is superb. It might not seem like a difficult game to control, but it would not take much for these tow teams to kick off. Clanntenburg knows that and doe not look like he is going to allow that to happen.


68

GB at 2016-07-10 21:28:12

Safe refereeing starts to come in now as the referee does not want to lose his grip on this game


66

GB at 2016-07-10 21:26:43

The longer games like this go without a goal, the more likely that a big call could come along at any minute which could effect the result. Clattenburg will be talking to his crew over the heads sets now and telling them to keep their concentration.

Substitutes change games as we know, so as the new players come on the officials need to quickly become aware of what their role is, just in case they have been sent on the “mix it up” a bit.


62

GB at 2016-07-10 21:21:50

Yellow Card João Mário (Portugal 10)  – nailed on yellow card for unsporting behaviour!


60

GB at 2016-07-10 21:20:05

The worst thing an official can do is to relax …..


59

GB at 2016-07-10 21:19:25

Concentration and remaining focus become very important for all the officials when a game goes of the boil like this. You need to be ready to react to the unexpected immediately.


56

GB at 2016-07-10 21:16:49

So we have highlighted his positioning , movement, and whistle – how about the confident clear signals as well!

I have said a few times when commentating on Clattenburg, that the reason he makes it look so easy is because he does the basic things so WELL


52

GB at 2016-07-10 21:12:18

Great use of the whistle again. Experienced referees take it for granted but those not so experienced could learn by how Clattenburg makes his whistle tone match the even. Constant over blowing means it loses its effectiveness, so this referee shows how a short peep is all which is needed some times. The big blast will be used when required!


50

GB at 2016-07-10 21:09:43

The one aspect of this referee’s quality which I have yet to mention is his fantastic movement. This really enhances his reading of the game as he is able to glide around the field of play and be right on the spot when the big decisions come along. Just what how he uses his acceleration when required.


48

GB at 2016-07-10 21:07:22

These early challenges in the second half reflect that extra raise in the temperature of the game which the referee had spotted at the end of the first half


46

GB at 2016-07-10 21:06:20

And there is ANOTHER advantage with the new “one hand signal” this time.


45

GB at 2016-07-10 21:05:28

Great to see the referee coming out and getting stuck in straight away in picking out that careless challenge.


45

GB at 2016-07-10 21:04:23

second half underway


GB at 2016-07-10 21:03:29

@youaretheref very good at waiting to see if there’s any possible advantage. He’s letting it flow. Pity it’s an awful game

Can’t argue with that either Dermot


GB at 2016-07-10 21:01:45


GB at 2016-07-10 21:01:27

OK – Lawrie get the Tweet of the night from me so far!

@youaretheref if he wasn’t wearing yellow you wouldn’t know he was there just what you want from a referee….respect from both sides.

QUALLITY!


HALF TIME SUMMARY

GB at 2016-07-10 20:59:31

The referee and his team have made a great start in this game for me so far. It may look like Clattenburg has not had a lot to do, but he is actually “managing” this game with a great deal of skill and experience. He can feel the tension out there, but he is not raising his profile to spoil a game which has yet to really come to life.

The way he has used the advantage in this game reflects his game plan to keep it flowing as much as possible, but when the first reckless challenge was committed he was on it like a flash with a caution for Cédric (Portugal 21) for his challenge on Dimitri Payet (France 8). Clattenburg would have been fully aware that some players may have blamed Dimitri Payet (France 8) for Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal 7) exit from the game, so he would have been looking for anyone try to “put one in” on him. As for the tackle which injured Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal 7), there was no question of that being any more than a “coming together” and an unfortunate injury resulting.

The rest of the Referee’s crew have supported him well so far.

I expect the temperature to rise in the second half so it was good to see the referee stepping in between a couple of players near the end just to let everyone know he is watching them. That’s what “pro-active” refereeing is all about!


GB at 2016-07-10 20:50:04

With only 5 weeks to go before the start of the new EPL season, you can expect our web site http://you-are-the-ref.com/  to begin the preparations for the new campaign, with our normal variation of topical refereeing issues from around the world. The current home page is brimming with all the latest current affairs and our archives are a great source of information for real refereeing issues.

Be sure to check in with The Ref Show tomorrow night, when our experts will be looking back at the highs and lows of the EUROs and dissecting tonight’s performance by the officials in detail.

Whether you have only just joined us because of our EURO coverage, or have been a follower for the past two years, stay tuning for some really exciting developments to come next season.

The next major event in our calendar is the much awaited second running of the Youdan Trophy  which takes place in Sheffield between the 1-5 August. There is still time to get involved via the above link, so give it a click for full details of this prestigious tournament.

As always, YATR values your opinions on all the points raised by out experts via Twitter @youaretheref or email us at Info@you-are-the-ref.com

The You Are The Ref Facebook page is also proving to be a great place to keep track on what’s new and is well work a “like” at  https://www.facebook.com/youaretheref


47

GB at 2016-07-10 20:49:28

Half Time

Portugal 0 v 0 France


90

GB at 2016-07-10 20:47:09

Another accidental class right on 90 minutes with 2 originally declared to be added. Those 2 minutes wont start until play restarts


43

GB at 2016-07-10 20:45:47

Second real display of authority from the referee there as he steps in to calm two players down. Thats the type of feel for the tempo of the game which was reflected in the earlier caution. Clatt’s is all over this and is being pro-active so it stays like that and he does not find himself playing “catch-up” later in the game if the players think he is going to let them get away with anything.


GB at 2016-07-10 20:41:06

Correction on the caution – it was Cédric (Portugal 21) of course!

Sorry about that!


37

GB at 2016-07-10 20:39:08

Thats at least 4 great advantages I have spotted so far – just shows the confidence of this referee tonight!


36

GB at 2016-07-10 20:37:45

Twitter followers are coming down on the “coming together” side for the Ronaldo tackle – keep the comments coming gang


33

GB at 2016-07-10 20:36:03

Yellow Card Laurent Koscielny (France 21) – reckless challenge

Excellent refereeing, never a question of that one being “managed” – authority established and tolerance level set!!!


30

GB at 2016-07-10 20:34:10

30 minutes gone and the officials will feel happy so far – even if the moths do seem to like the referees aftershave!


29

GB at 2016-07-10 20:32:05

The referee’s body language was very evident then as he stared the player down who put the ball out for the trow-in with a fair but strong tackle from behind


29

GB at 2016-07-10 20:30:18

Great shot then of the referee homing in on the ball in the corner to make the correct call!


GB at 2016-07-10 20:29:18

What do you think about the challenge? Contact us on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at Info@you-are-the-ref.com


27

GB at 2016-07-10 20:28:21

The challenge which took the Portuguese Captain out of the game is bound to be talked about in a half of little else to talk about – at least someone out there agrees with me:

 No. Careless at worse, simple coming together & no foul.


24

GB at 2016-07-10 20:25:50

So Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal 7) has to leave the big stage early. Clatt’s needs to stay focused and not start questioning his call to play-on the challenge which caused it.


21

GB at 2016-07-10 20:24:23

Can’t help thinking Andre helped with that last corner from behind the goal – good teamwork


21

GB at 2016-07-10 20:22:58

When the game warms up and starts to get fiesty, thats the time for “safe refereeing” – but the order of the day so far is just to keep out of it!


19

GB at 2016-07-10 20:21:48

There is another example of how this referee is managing the game and not the occasion as he is not tempted to give free kicks for those “easy to go down” challenges in the centre – thats what the top players respect


17

GB at 2016-07-10 20:19:38

This does not look good for Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal 7). I stick by the fact that the contact was nothing more than unfortunate and not a mistake by the officials not to give a foul for the challenge that caused the injury


14

GB at 2016-07-10 20:15:43

Once again, the expectations of the players are being met as Ronaldo is unfairly challenged from behind – just careless again


12

GB at 2016-07-10 20:14:15

And the line in the sand is crossed with that careless challenge. Note the way the referee gave a very short peep of the whistle, no need to use that one to over assert his authority yet


10

GB at 2016-07-10 20:12:30

10 minutes gone and it is clear that the referee does not want to strangle this one and the players seem happy with the way they are able to challenge so far without the game being stopped unnecessarily


7

GB at 2016-07-10 20:11:03

First big call for the referee – clearly the player touched the ball and the contact with Ronaldo’s thigh must have been impossible to spot


6

GB at 2016-07-10 20:09:38

Clatt’s was really close to the play then and will no doubt have really enjoyed his first advantage, given with the “old” traditional signal


4

GB at 2016-07-10 20:06:09

First very tight call for Simon Beck – good to see flag stayed down – good signs already that all three officials have hit the ground running


2

GB at 2016-07-10 20:04:05

Already it is clear that Clatt’s is not overall-ed by this one so he does not give cheap free kicks for the early challenges


1

GB at 2016-07-10 20:02:53

All top class referees have a game plan before every match and the opening few minutes often reflect whether they will be able to let the game breath or whether the attitude of the players means that a firm hand is required right from the off.


GB at 2016-07-10 20:01:53

AR1: Simon Beck (SB) is patrolling the touchline in front of the technical areas.


0

GB at 2016-07-10 20:01:15

Game on – the first final to be kicked of backwards!


KICK OFF

GB at 2016-07-10 20:00:01

France won the toss so it will be Portugal to kick off.

Good luck to all the officials and may the ball run kindly for you!

Feel free to interact with me during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at info@you-are-the-ref.com

If you are Tweeting from outside the UK during tonight’s game, put your countries initials at the end of your Text so everyone can see what an international fan base we have already established.


PRE-MATCH

GB at 2016-07-10 19:56:02

Not long to go now as the players and officials prepare to sing the Nation Anthems


OFFICIALS

GB at 2016-07-10 19:47:08

Today’s officials are:

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (ENG) (MC)

Assistant referee1: Simon Beck (ENG) (SB)

Assistant referee2:  Jake Collin (ENG) (JC)

Additional assistant referee 1: Anthony Taylor (ENG) (AT)

Additional assistant referee 2: Andre Marriner (ENG) (AM)

4th Official: Viktor Kassai (HUN)

Reserve official: György Ring (HUN)

UEFA Delegate: J?nis Mežeckis (LVA)

UEFA Referee observer: Pierluigi Collina (ITA)

Mark Clattenburg
Mark Clattenburg marches on in Euro 2016

This is Clattenburg’s fourth appointment of EURO 2016, following Belgium (1xY) v Italy (4xY), Czech Republic (1xY) v Croatia (3xY) and Switzerland (2xY) v Poland (2xY). Furthermore, he was the 4th official when Iceland played Austria, his one previous UEFA-assigned fixture at the Stade de France.

The 41-year-old, who also officiated at the UEFA Champions League final in May, becomes only the second referee to take charge of both major European football occasions in the same season – a feat previously achieved by Pedro Proença in 2012. Former electrician Clattenburg was also in the middle for May’s FA Cup final and becomes the first to do the hat-trick tonight. This is the first time an English referee has had the honour to manage the final game at the EUROs since Barnsley’s Arthur Holland took charge back in 1964. Holland coincidentally refereed the FA Cup final in that same year, but his appointment to the European Cup Final came the previous year in 1963.

This referee’s credentials for today’s appointment have been well documented over recent weeks and months, but the overarching factor has been the confidence in his ability shown by the Head of the UEFA Referee’s Committee Pierluigi Collina. It even appeared that Collina was prepared to demonstrate this to out manoeuvre the attempts of the English FA to stop Clattenburg going to France, in favour of Martin Atkinson, by breaking with tradition and protocol to appoint two referees from the same country to the final stages. Well he has certainly repaid the complement so far in the tournament, and I have no doubt he will finish the job with aplomb this evening.

Let’s not forget his wingmen either. Regular followers of my blogs will know my views about the benefits of officials operating in teams, and once again the strong support and comradeship provided and demonstrated by Messer’s Beck and Collin has proved this point.

Taylor and Mariner as Additional Assistant Referees have also become integral members of Clattenburg’s Crew other the past couple of years.

The other factor worth emphasising to all those of you officials out their striving to to emulate any of the officials deservedly appointed to this fixture, is the importance of bouncing back from the inevitable knocks this profession produce at times. No Referee or Assistant Referee will ever complete their career (at whatever level), without making the odd mistake or having to face adversity. Clatt’s has had his fair share (some may say “more” than his fair share) of time in the wilderness over the years, due to things within or outside of his control, but as I was always told, the important thing in this game is how you deal with the setbacks and move on that matters the most. Both today’s Assistants have also had their rough patches in the Premier League last season as well, but the consistent performances of late of all three of them appointed to this game is testament of the mental strength and confidence in their individual and joint abilities which they have all displayed and been rewarded for.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)

FIFA badge: 2006

UEFA EUROs: 12

UEFA matches: 70

Tournaments: 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, 2012 Olympic Games, 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup

International Finals:

2016 UEFA European Championship

2016 UEFA Champions League

2014 UEFA Super Cup

2012 Olympic Games


Here are the squads for the Tournament:

GB at 2016-07-10 19:44:06

Portugal

Portugal

1       Rui Patrício (Sporting CP)

2       Bruno Alves (Fenerbahçe)

3       Pepe (Real Madrid)

4       José Fonte (Southampton)

5       Raphael Guerreiro (Lorient)

6       Ricardo Carvalho (Monaco)

7       Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

8       João Moutinho (Monaco)

9       Éder (LOSC)

10     João Mário (Sporting CP)

11     Vieirinha (Wolfsburg)

12     Anthony Lopes (Lyon)

13     Danilo (Porto)

14     William Carvalho (Sporting CP)

15     André Gomes (Valencia)

16     Renato Sanches (Benfica)

17     Nani (Fenerbahçe)

18     Rafa Silva (Braga)

19     Eliseu (Benfica)

20     Ricardo Quaresma (Be?ikta?)

21     Cédric (Southampton)

22     Eduardo (Dinamo Zagreb)

23     Adrien Silva (Sporting CP)

 

France

France ball

1       Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur)

2       Christophe Jallet (Lyon)

3       Patrice Evra (Juventus)

4       Adil Rami (Sevilla)

5       N’Golo Kanté (Leicester City)

6       Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace)

7       Antoine Griezmann (Atlético)

8       Dimitri Payet (West Ham United)

9       Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)

10     André-Pierre Gignac (Tigres)

11     Anthony Martial (Manchester United)

12     Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United)

13     Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City)

14     Blaise Matuidi (Paris)

15     Paul Pogba (Juventus)

16     Steve Mandanda (Marseille)

17     Lucas Digne (Roma)

18     Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United)

19     Bacary Sagna (Manchester City)

20     Kingsley Coman (Bayern)

21     Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal)

22     Samuel Umtiti (Lyon)

23     Benoît Costil (Rennes)

 


PRE-MATCH

GB at 2016-07-10 19:38:15

Now for what we are about to receive.

France obviously rock up to their home ground as the bookies favourites, looking for their 3rd victory in the EUROs. With four convincing wins under their belt and the confidence and swagger which befits a home nation, they appear to up for the task in hand.

Portugal on the other hand, although failing to really dominate any of their games until they broke the hearts of the Welsh Dragons, may just have peaked at the right time. With Ronaldo coming into form at last, and nothing to lose as the under-dogs, I really hope they come out and go-for-it like the Germans did in their semi-final, which should produce the sceptical that this wonderful tournament deserves. Portugal lost their only previous major final as hosts of this tournament against Greece in 2004.

Disciplinary wise, Portugal have picked up just 7 yellows from their 5 matches, whilst France picked up 9. Both teams can choose from their full squads for the final game with all yellow cards being discarded and no red cards on the books.

If history is anything to go by for games between these two teams, then it would seem like Portugal have all the work to do as France have won the last ten meetings with Portugal, dating back to 1975:

Team Pld W D L GF GA
Portugal 24 5 1 18 49 28
France 24 18 1 5 28 49

PRE-MATCH

GB at 2016-07-10 19:37:00

So here we go then with the conclusion to what has consistently been referred to as one of the best international tournaments for many years in respect to the performance of the officials, complemented by the subsequent behaviour and conduct of the players. I for one cannot remember a competition which has been so devoid of controversy across the board. The organisers of this event deserve all the plaudits they have received in relation to the preparation of both the competitors and officials for this event.  The lack of playacting from the players, and the lack of violent conduct and serious foul play have contributed to an exhibition of football which will be remembered for all the right reasons, and has certainly allowed the referees to let the games flow as much as possible.

In our regular blogs and articles on the You-Are-The-Ref.com web site, we have often heralded the innovative ideas and procedures initiated by the Referees Committee for this tournament, led by Pierluigi Collina in preparing the officials for their games. Clear guidelines and expectations were laid out for all to follow, and to their credit, the officials have generally responded with consistent performances in return. “Direction and clear leadership” for Match Officials have been the fundamental principles required for a group of officials at any level which the YATR Team have been talking about for years, and there can be no doubt that what we have seen so far in France has shown what can be achieved.

The only potentially match changing decision which caused any major debate was the award of a penalty kick for the host nation in their semi-final against Germany. Whilst the debate raged about that one, YATR came out smartly and nailed our colours to the mast and said “not deliberate” for us! And in an effort to draw a line under it I have copied below the relevant extracts from the Laws of the Game:

“Handling the ball involves a deliberate act of a player making contact with the ball with the hand or arm.”

Two of the 5 criteria which must be considered are:

“•           the movement of the hand towards the ball (not the ball towards the hand)”

“•           the position of the hand does not necessarily mean that there is an infringement”

The second bullet point is the most important one here, as nowhere in the Laws will you find mention of terms like “arms in an un-natural position” or “players making themselves bigger”. The essence of the law is, and has always been, that the player’s actions need to be deemed as consciously and intentionally carried out, in order for an offence to have been committed.

My only other negative comment on the application of Law which has been less than fully satisfactory, has been a rather lax attitude displayed by a number of officials to the wearing of jewellery, which seems to have been allowed to be covered up with tape. Failure to adhere strictly to the following extract from the Laws in this respect, particularly in such a high profile event, makes the task of our colleagues at grass roots football much harder!

The Laws of the game are clear on this matter too:

“All items of jewellery (necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, leather bands, rubber bands, etc.) are forbidden and must be removed. Using tape to cover jewellery is not permitted.”


PRE-MATCH

GB at 2016-07-10 19:35:59

Stade de France, Saint-Denis

EURO 2016 capacity: 80000

Opened: January 1997

Welcome to this evening’s RefCam coverage today of the European Championship Final game between Portugal and France.

Feel free to interact with me at any time during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at info@you-are-the-ref.com