Chile - Switzerland - 2010-06-21 - Khalil Al Ghamdi

WC 2010, group stage
Chile - Switzerland, 1 - 0

Fouls: 0-0
Penalties: 0-0
Yellow cards: 6-3
Red cards: 0-1
2010-06-21 by padre

The match did not get off to the most entertaining of starts, so Al Ghamdi took it upon himself to become the centre of attention. He seemed to have decided that every tackle was a foul, and took great delight in stopping play after even the most trivial contact. For an international referee to have such poor foul detection simply beggars belief. And what is more, he did not play any advantage, so every time he identified/imagined (delete as appropriate) a foul play had to stop for a free kick. This removed pretty much all of the flow from the game, and was clearly a source of frustration to the players.


In his other life, Al Ghamdi is a teacher. Boy, I bet he clamps down really hard on late homework and talking at the back of the classroom! He found nine yellow card offences and one worthy of a straight red. Behrami was the man sent off after stupidly raising his arm into Chilean faces twice - as I have said before on this site, you simply are not allowed to do that and I think a red card can be justified. Of the yellows, Barnetta and Ponce deserved theirs for fouls while Valdivia was correctly cautioned for diving. The others were all completely unnecessary and unwarranted. The players spotted that the referee was weak and started over-exaggerating all fouls in the hope of getting their opponents in trouble. And for the most part Al Ghamdi fell for it, a prime example being Medel in the 61st minute who was booked as a Swiss went down grabbing his face after being touched in the chest. OK, it was cynical and unsporting from the players, but who can blame them for trying to gain every adavantage possible in a World Cup finals match with a weak referee.


To add insult to injury, the Chilean goal was scored after a tight but clear offside that the assistant failed to spot.

Worse than Lannoy

Even though Lannoy had a very poor game, which descended to chaos at the end and in which he got several big calls wrong, Al Ghamdi's performance was far worse. While Lannoy made mistakes, he was clearly trying to keep the match flowing, to be lenient and allow the players to take centre stage, ie he was trying not to be involved where he did not have to be. Unfortunately he misjudged when he should have taken action, but at least he seemed to have the best interests of the game in mind. Al Ghamdi on the other hand was very officious, refused to let the players get on with the game and stuck his nose in at every opportunity. There was absoultely no need to whistle for everything, absolutely no need to show so many cards and absolutely no need to ruin the match. He should be very ashamed of this performance, of which 'truly abysmal' would be a generous description. Hopefully he will not get another game.