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Top 10 Soccer Referees in the World!

Top Ten Soccer RefereesI’ve been asked many times whom I would consider to be the top 10 referees in the world.  This is a very difficult question of course. Unless you are objective there is the temptation to have your own particular favourite and that will naturally taint your judgement. I will name them – at the end of this piece.  I must also point out that the ones I’ve named are currently officiating and are not retired at the time of going to press.


First of all it’s important to select a criterion of what makes a good referee become a top 10 referee.


These are mine and in no particular order: 


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Vanishing referee spray and GLT – the tip of the iceberg?

Referee SprayThe introduction of vanishing referee spray (or as is also known – “shaving foam”) at the World Cup in Brazil recently could be the thin end of the wedge as far as technology and other “aides” for referees are concerned. While it was greeted with a fair amount of scepticism by some, its use proved to be well justified.


For the uninitiated, it was a canister of foam used by the referee to demarcate where the ball was to be placed at the taking of a free kick. It was also used to indicate where the defensive wall was to stand. All of this to ensure that the law was complied with; in other words that defensive players were no closer than 9.15 meters (10 yds) from the ball at the taking of a free kick.


This was used exclusively around the penalty area and not in any other part of the field of play.


Why is it necessary to have this foam in the first place? Clearly the answer is that the players cannot be trusted to retreat the required distance from the ball at the taking of a free kick, or that the offended team won’t move the ball forward when the referee’s back is turned.


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FIFA Referee awards 5 penalties in 1 match. Gets referred to a shrink.

b2ap3_thumbnail_gomezpenalty.jpgYou always know who your friends are when there’s crisis. At a time when referees are being attacked on all fronts, both verbally and physically, the last one you would expect to be joining the queue is your national association.


Referee Victor Gomes, an up-and-coming match official with enormous potential, is under “attack” from his own association. An anonymous member of the South African Football Association is quoted in a Sunday sports paper as saying Gomes needs to be referred to a psychologist.


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Mentoring - how to create a top class match official.

Errol with World Cup RefereesI have been involved in refereeing in some shape or form in Ireland and South Africa since 1970/71. Now to use an old cliché, that’s not yesterday.


I was active for 25 years until I was asked by the Premier Soccer League management in South Africa, where I lived and worked for 14 years from 1985 to 1999, to take over the running and control of refereeing. This I did reluctantly as I still wanted to stay active.


Since then I have been mentoring and coaching match officials.


Probably the highlight of any referee mentor/coach is to witness his students, firstly get that all-important FIFA badge, and then be selected to officiate at a World Cup Finals.


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Brendan Rogers accuses referee Lee Mason of bias!

Brendan RogersThe verbal attack by Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers on referee Lee Mason after recent top-of-the-table clash with Manchester City is not only unfortunate, but also ill advised.


The outburst was prompted by, it has to be said, a very poor offside decision given against a Liverpool player who was clean through on goal. The slow motion action replay shows the players was clearly onside by at least 2 yards.


One can understand the frustration of the Reds boss, but to label the referee “biased” because of the geographical location of his abode is surely unfair.


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