This is by far the best tournament I’ve ever watched. Great games, spectacular goals and for the most teams willing to attack and win games rather than settle for draws. It’s only failings are the officials. Five per match and yet when the referee is obviously losing control not one of the other four can step in and take charge. Referee Valentin Ivanov in tonight’s Holland-Portugal game awarded sixteen yellow cards and four red. Totally ruined the game for me. Deco can feel particularly hard done by, Figo can feel lucky. The ref never even saw the Figo head butt as he had his back turned so I can only assume a linesman made him aware and yet he only awarded yellow. I also thought the Dutch diving went unpunished…for the sake of the game finishing tonight it was probably just as well.
Graham Poll also lost his cool the other night yet no one intervened. I only hope Fifa can get hold of the situation before they blot the whole tournaments memories with referee’s who seem more intent to make a name for themselves rather than let football do the talking. Tonight’s cards will also have a big impact on the England game as Portugal will be without Deco and Costinha and when (ok…..if) they progress who will they be without then as another five players are carrying the threat of a semi-final ban. Shame….sort it out Fifa.