The decision of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) to suspend the referees of the field and video (VAR) who officiated the match between Argentina and Brazil in the World Cup qualifiers, gave hope for a just retribution and punishment of some referees who commit serious mistakes in major matches.
CONMEBOL announced that the two referees were suspended “indefinitely”, because they committed “serious mistakes” in the match that was held last Wednesday, most notably their failure to take a deterrent penalty against Argentine defender Nicolas Otamendi, who committed – in the 39th minute of the match – a violent mistake against the Brazilian striker. Ravinia.
And the Confederation of America said – in an official statement – “After the technical analysis of the behavior of the referee of the arena Andres Ismail Kona Soca Vargas and the referee of the video system Esteban Daniel Vega .. it was proven that they committed serious and clear mistakes.”
NICOLÁS OTAMENDI 😍 pic.twitter.com/L78bS3CIr5
– JC (@juancruz_sola) November 17, 2021
What does football law say?
The truth is that it is a really serious mistake, especially since it was issued by two referees that reached the management levels of the world’s elite teams, because the violation of hitting the pointed part of the elbow, is known in Article 12 of the Football Law (Errors and Misconduct) as one of the flagrant violations that deserve expulsion, because it is one of the Violent actions that could cause great damage to the opponent, which is what actually happened as Otamendi’s blow injures Rafinha’s mouth, and can affect his teeth that bled from the force of the blow.
⚠️ For this play and the NO expulsion of Nicolás Otamendi, Conmebol suspended referee Andrés Cunha and Esteban Ostojich (VAR judge) for an indefinite period. pic.twitter.com/9S4qPObfhj
– Gustavo López (@guslopezinfo) November 17, 2021
The referee’s omission to send off the Argentine player in the first half harmed Brazil, which would have had the advantage to play against a minus team, and this may have a role in the match ending in a goalless draw.
This error may have been somewhat acceptable before the advent of the video assistant technology, but it cannot be forgiven in light of the possibility of watching the referees of the wrong mouse more than once and from several angles, as well as reviewing the referee.
In fact, this situation only needs to be seen once to make the decision to expel, which is like the “posta card” in football law, and it is strange and even suspicious that the two referees are absent together.
The #Conmebol released the audio #WHERE of the play that should have been expulsion for the Argentine # NicolasOtamendi for a blow with the forearm on the face of the Brazilian #Raphinha, in the match that ended 0-0 in #SanJuan. pic.twitter.com/qrEjmzvJZk
– Montevideo Portal (@portalmvd) November 17, 2021
Although the two teams were not affected by the error, as Argentina qualified – along with Brazil – for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the decision of CONMEBOL was decisive to prevent the recurrence of such naive mistakes that affect the reputation of the Latin arbitration, which is trusted by the International Federation of the Game (FIFA), with evidence of attribution Managing the opening and final matches of the 2018 World Cup for an Argentine referee, in a rare event since this honor was awarded to a Brazilian referee in the 2006 World Cup.
This strict suspension also gave hope for similar decisions to be taken against referees who commit serious mistakes, but rather repeat them without deterrence, as happens in some matches, the most recent of which was the match between South Africa and Ghana in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, after which South Africa submitted a complaint to FIFA against the Senegalese referee, who was counted A penalty kick resulted in her exit and Ghana qualified for the decisive stage of the World Cup qualifiers.