Top Stories

FIFA labels World Cup officiating a success


photo by Douglas Zimmerman/

Refereeing has been a hot subject for debate at this World Cup, and while players, fans, coaches and media have been critical, FIFA believes the officiating has been a success.

Jose Maria Garcia-Aranda, FIFA's head of refereeing, said Saturday that a study of the 62 matches played so far shows that referees have gotten 96 percent of the calls correct. Garcia-Aranda labeled the officiating in the tournament a success, and not because of opinion but due to "facts".

Garcia-Aranda also said that the referees have not been spotless, but that the errors have occurred in only a few matches.

What do you think about FIFA claiming its World Cup officiating has been a success? Agree and think some of the missed calls are blown out of proportion? Believe the study was skewed?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. BDE says: To all the armchair critics “talk is cheap”. Show me any other sport where there is a larger field to cover, and more players to oversee than in soccer. When a player can kick a ball half-way across the entire field of play in a manner of seconds who can possibly keep up with the play in any particular location? Try and catch every infraction within the penalty area when you have ten to twelve players jostling for position in front of the goal. How many of you critics are referees yourselves, or have even attempted to referee adult matches? Try to referee a few games first before you throw stones a the glass house.

  2. Garcia-Aranda is hiding behind numbers. An analysis may indeed show that 96% of calls have been correct, but it does not change the fact that the errors that have been made have been HUGE. Like any research in any field, numbers can be manipulated to show the result you prefer. However, there were critical blown calls, and critical no-calls that changed the dynamic of a number of important games, and HE KNOWS THAT. He’s trying to protect FIFA officiating integrity by dodging the issue.

  3. This is a typical response from the referee community. I mean no disrespect to referees as individuals, but they are imbued from on high with an attitude that while they may individually admit mistakes, as a collective they must represent themselves as infallible to everyone else. The prevailing sentiment is that they cannot allow themselves to appear vulnerable because it would undermine their ability to control a match, and it is not limited to international play: they are backed up in this attitude in the US by USYS, NFHS, NISOA, MLS, USSF, et al. At any level of play, just try to get a common sense review of a decision of a referee that created an injustice for a player, or get a legitimate measurable quality assurance program going.

  4. What an idiotic statement. 96% of what? Without knowing what calls count in the “percentage”, the statistic is meaningless. It does not take a genius to realize who the throw-in goes to when someone accidentally knocks the ball out of bounds 10 feet from the nearest opposing player.

    It’s actually insulting to anyone who’s semi-numerate.

  5. every card during the world cup should be reviewed key players missed key games on absolutely dreadful calls and that can change the outcome of the whole tournament.

  6. FIFA is probably looking at each call as equal, so if they got a throw in correctly called, that negates, oh say… a goal that wasn’t called. So yeah, 96% of the 1000’s of calls that were made were correct, but some huge calls were definitely blown.

  7. WRONG!!
    If we get the right calls on both those goals, then we finish with 7 points easy. We wouldn’t have had to fight and claw to make it to the next round. The players expended a lot of energy physically and mentally to overcome those bad calls. It’s a testament to the players for getting past it and getting to the next round. If they get those calls they especially the Clint Dempsey goal against Algeria in 17th minute imagine how much more rested they would have been. USA and Ghana both had two days rest but we sure as hell put more work in because the refs made sure to that.
    Mexico would’ve still lost Argentina. Argentina is better at the same style that Mexico plays. Argentina is better than Mexico Period.

  8. I beg to differ. As I pointed out above, the disallowed goal in min 21 vs Algeria forced the US to chase the game and left the team gassed physically vs Ghana. The US very well could have been beating Germany today, which would have been poetic justice for the fantom Markus Merk call vs Onyewu in 2006 vs Ghana, and the Hugh Dallas BS non-handball call from Frings volleyball play in 2002.

  9. Maybe not, but those were still horendous calls. Plus, if you wanna get into the Ghana match, the ref did absolutely nothing about the clear diving that sapped that last 20 minutes.

  10. You mean both blown US calls:

    Edu’s no foul in sight call back vs Slovenia

    and the who the “F” is offside on Dempsey’s goal in min 21 vs Algeria.

    Granted those goals wouldn’t have changed our finish in 1st of Group C, but it certainly would have changed the effort expended to chase those games!

  11. Completely, 100% agree agree with Andy. This has been the best-refereed World Cup, even with a few obvious blown calls. Thankfully FIFA will be forced to accept goal-line replays to help the refs out going forward.

    With 62 matches so far, the venom is focused against the refs because of 5-6 big blown calls.

    Whereas … are the players getting any better? I think they’re pretty darn awful. The goalies can’t seems to catch the ball. Shots are so wild they go over the side-line, not the end-line. Passes are easily stolen by the other team. When will the quality of the players catch up to the quality of the referees?


Leave a Comment