Ref Review – Nicola Rizzoli – Spain 2 v 0 France (Euro 2012 QF 23/06/2012)
In our fourth Ref Review of the European Championships David Costelloe gave us his take on Nicola Rizzoli’s performance in the Quarter Final between France and Spain, which ended 2-0 to del Bosque’s men. You can follow David on Twitter, @NFBblog.
It was, perhaps, the most anticipated of the four quarter finals, but Spain and France conspired to present a truly tepid and forgettable contest last Saturday night, that will probably not find a place in the annals of European Championship history. Referee Nicola Rizzoli was the man in the middle, but he really didn’t have that much to do. Three “big calls” to note, all related to penalties.
Spanish penalty shout from Fabregas
In the sixth minute Alonso sent a high ball into the box ahead of Fabregas who went to ground under pressure from Clichy. Fabregas was fairly adamant that he had been fouled, and the replay does show the French defender with his arms very high in contact with the Spanish attackers back. Possibly some contact with between Clichy’s knee and Fabregas’ back leg as well. Fabregas went to ground very easily, which stood against him probably, but I do think there was an infringement.
French penalty shout from Debuchy
In the 50th minute Debuchy went racing into the Spanish penalty area from the right, and claimed a penalty from a shove by Sergio Ramas. The referee wasn’t interested. This was a hard one to call as I initially thought that Debucy’s fall to the ground came more from a stumble over a prone Alba, who had fallen to the ground after taking the ball off Debuchy. He may possibly have been seeking a free for Spain, but no contact was made between him and Debuchy. Upon several replays, I think Ramos, his arm very high, does give Debuchy a bit of a shove with Alba doing the rest. It’s tight, but I can’t call it legal contact in that situation. Incorrect decision.
Spanish penalty given to Pedro
Into injury time, and Spain’s Pedro went racing into the box only to be brought down under a challenge from Reveillere. The Ref did not hesitate in pointing to the spot. Replays show Reveillere did use his right elbow and his right foot to impede Pedro from behind, though it was probably without malicious intent. Still a foul though. Correct decision.
As for everything else, Rizzoli just didn’t have that much to do in a game that was fairly open between the two sides. The amount of frees given was quite low for a game of this level, which is indicative of the lack of intensity in this match up. I did not agree with most of the yellows that were shown, for either innocuous challenges or accidental collisions, though Rizzoli was especially incorrect to award one to Cabaye in the 42nd minute for a stamp on Busquets when the replays show the stamp in question was committed by the Spanish player, whose howls of agony sold it very well.
Aside from that, Rizzoli was able to oversee a pretty flowing game of football, and cannot really be held responsible for the low quality on display.
A few frees here and there that should have been waved off, a few potential infringements that were rightfully ignored and what I saw as a flawless offside/line performance from Rizzoli and his linesmen rounded off the night. That being said, the penalty decisions are what could have swung it, and on them Rizzoli and his officials made some errors, in my eyes.
|Decision/Potential Decisions||Correct||Incorrect||% Correct|
|Red Cards||0||0||100%||Penalties||1||2||33%||Offsides||7||0||100%||Frees||22||4||84.61%||Line (Throws, Corners, Goal Kicks, Goal Line)||85||0||100%||Overall||116||9||92.8%|