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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Referees’ head blasts Germany coach for post-match comment

Happy with performance of referee in Sunday’s quarter-final between Germany and Brazil, says FIFA head of refereeing Massimo Busacca after accusations from the Christian Wueck.

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 23, 2017 18:14 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
FIFA U-17 World Cup,Massimo Busacca,Germany vs Brazil
Brazil's Paulinho duels for the ball against Germany's John Yeboah during their FIFA U-17 World Cup quarter final match.(AP)

After allowing the media more than a peep into how referees and their assistants prepare for World Cup games, Massimo Busacca, Fifa’s head of refereering, deflected criticism of referee Jair Marrufo saying there was no blatant error in Sunday’s quarter-final between Brazil and Germany. And that he was happy with the American’s performance.

“Everybody who saw the game and can judge for themselves and not listen to anyone else. If you had a blatant situation yesterday, you can say but it was not the case. Anyone can say what he wants and you have to respect that…In front of a microphone, anyone can explode,” said the 47-year-old Swiss here on Monday morning hours after Germany coach Christian Wueck had said Marrufo should have shown a Brazil player the red card for hitting Jan Boller in the face.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: Brazil vs England semifinal moved to Kolkata from Guwahati

“If we commit a mistake, for me it’s easy to admit and say we were bad. Referees are honest. They do what they see not what they think. Yesterday, the referee gave his 100% and we are very happy with his performance,” said Busacca who officiated in the 2006 and 2010 World Cup finals, the Euro 2008 and the 2009 Champions League final.

Busacca said so far he has been happy with the standard of supervision in the under-17 World Cup and the work of assistant-referees --- “off-side decisions are a matter of centimetres here too” --- and that it has happened because referees have made sacrifices to stay fit and work on technical training to ensure they are at the right place. “Otherwise, you will be like Forrest Gump, you will run but not arrive,” he said.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: Germany coach slams referee after quarterfinal loss vs Brazil

He said even if referees have had prior experience of the men’s World Cup or Champions League, they have been warned about the dangers of treating teenagers with kid gloves. “Mistakes will be at your doorstep of you underestimate. There should be no change in approach (to a men’s World Cup). The game is the same. Some of these players play in the top categories.”

Why no Indian on panel

The match officials here are using this World Cup to get ready for Russia 2018, he said. And that is why there was no Indian on the panel. “We had to take this opportunity to get ready for Russia. Also, in any Fifa competition, you have to have those who are at the top in their confederation. Unfortunately, India’s (low) rank in its confederation (Asian Football Confederation) meant there could be no one here but we did invite elite Indian referees and assistants to be with us for one week and see how we prepare,” he said.

First Published: Oct 23, 2017 18:11 IST