German referee Siebert at the World Cup: For lack of authority? – Sports
The last games of the soccer World Cup will take place with almost no German participation. After the German national team failed in the preliminary round, referee Daniel Siebert is now over. That looked like a slap in the face: a referee from a major FIFA member association whose team was eliminated would be a natural top candidate for the final. Assuming he’d done his job well.
Judging by the hymns that Siebert heard from his direct superiors at home, he actually did them very well. “Only ten referees were nominated from all over Europe,” emphasized Lutz Michael Fröhlich, head of German referees, on Thursday. Siebert was “already there at the young age of 38 and immediately had to deal with the game, which was extremely difficult to lead Uruguay against Ghana”. And: He “contributed his strengths and talents and presented them clearly,” emphasized Fröhlich. He still had to go home, like the Iranian referee Alireza Faghani, who officiated the Uruguay-Portugal game, among other things.
It’s worth mentioning in this context because the sum of the controversial decisions in Uruguay’s games against Portugal and Ghana arguably led to the two-time world champions’ knockout.
In the game against Portugal, Faghani awarded a penalty against Uruguay for a handball that Fifa said was not punishable. José María Giménez braced himself on the ground as he fell and was hit in the arm by the ball.
In the game against Ghana there was first a penalty for Ghana and then two scenes where Uruguay demanded a penalty (after possible fouls on Darwin and Cavani). In two scenes, Siebert was ordered to the TV screen by video referee Bastian Dankert; not in the last scene. And this was not clear: the former referees Manuel Gräfe (Germany), Urs Meier (Switzerland) and Javier Castrilli (Argentina) judged: Penalties.
Fröhlich, Patrick Ittrich and Eduardo Iturralde (Spain) took the opposite view. Iturralde would have whistled for the attack on Darwin. Why did Siebert have to go while Dankert is allowed to stay as a backup? One speculation among referees is: Because he failed as an authority. After the missed penalty for Ghana, Uruguay’s Fede Valverde stood in front of the miss and yelled in his face. That should have been a yellow card and an indirect free kick.
Either way, the Uruguayans felt doubly cheated. Their anger was all the greater when they were eliminated by a one-goal difference. They protested, harassed Siebert and his team after the game ended, Cavani knocked over the VAR screen. “Had I seen the pictures, I would have protested even more,” confessed Diego Godín.