There've been waves and waves of yellow cards being dished out left right and center, red cards galore, and even a sending off that needed three yellows to justify a red (does that make it an ORANGE card then?)
Take last night's Holland vs Portugal match for instance. The referee Valentin Ivanov was obviously jeles that people would remember silly names like Jan Vennegoor of Hessalink but no one could promounce a simple Russian referee's name.
So he decides to dish out SIXTEEN FUCKING YELLOW CARDS (which was apparently a tournament record), and FOUR FREAKING RED CARDS, so that his name would go down in history as the referee who set a record for most yellow cards EVAR. I wonder where he found the space to write all those numbers. (oh. Portugal won, BTW. Who noticed?)
Previously in the first round, there were matches that also nearly turned into futsal games, and a lot of yellow cards given for time wasting (IN THE 50th MINUTE!!!!!!).
It's not just the referees being card-happy that is pissing me off. The referees also don't seem to know where to stand. I've seen the referees get in the way of the ball NEAR THE PENALTY BOX more times in these two weeks than I have in an entire EPL season. I think there was once when Korea were attacking and the move was good, but it broke down why? BLOODY REFEREE was standing RIGHT ON THE CENTER of the EDGE of the Penalty box and got in the way of the ball that was being squared to an onrushing midfielder.
Then there was that over-reacting referees in one of the matches who REALLY over-reacted when a player grabbed his arm. He reacted as if he was being SHOT or something.
But hor, the best one of all was Graham Poll's BRILLIANT handling of the Australia vs Croatia match. In the Korea vs Togo match, he'd sent off a player for a second booking by showing him the red and THEN only the yellow. Even the commentator was confused.
But, in the Oz vs Croat match, he showed TWO yellow cards to Josip Simunic, BUT no red card. Then, after ruling out a winning Australian goal because (get this), he was blowing the final whistle at the same time (WHILE THE ATTACK WAS IN PROGRESS), he then decided to produce ANOTHER yellow card and show'd it to Simunic, and THEN a red card, finally sending off Simunic AFTER the match was over.
Sheer genius, that.
I'd imagine if Australia had not gone through because of the draw, they'd be royally PISSED. I think FIFA said they'd have grounds to ask for a replay if Australia had not gone through.
So, it is with great honour that we induct the incredible Graham Poll into the annals of Hantu Bola's REFEREE KAYU HALL OF FAME, the third referee in our list now.
May you all shudder if ever you see the name 'Graham Poll' refereeing your club's game during the EPL season. IF he doesn't retire after this debacle, that is....
Further Poll reading:
- Guardian's The Fiver: GRAHAM POLL'S DIARY
- Guardian: Poll's entire career on the line after Stuttgart debacle