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Question Number: 34807

Kicks From The Penalty mark 12/18/2022

RE: Adult

Douglas Wix of LIVERPOOL, Merseyside United Kingdom asks...

I thought the Polish referee was excellent today in the World Cup final, HOWEVER my question is, could he & should he have done more regarding the gamesmanship of Martinez, who I know received a yellow but did it warrant a 2nd yellow. Thought Martinez was a disgrace to sportsmanship. Thanks in advance.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Douglas,
I agree I felt the referee had a great match far better than many other WC officials in the past. Martinez, in knocking the ball away or his Icey nose to nose glare or babbling nonsense to intimidate the French PK takers seemed to work . I could see the referee was trying NOT to award the 2nd caution, you could see in his body language and demeanor that although he had his fill, still realized the passion and magnitude of the moment and likely said or indicated to Martinez to shut the hell up & quit the theatrics if you want to stay in this match!

It’s clear he is a bit of an idiot as good as he is a keeper with that gross gesture upon receiving his golden glove award. What ever impulse compelled him to make a groin thrust is likely going to cost him in some fine or punishment as it was most definitely uncool and demeaning . He is well known for being a dweeb in terms of USB actions but no one doubts his commitment or abilities!

I will say this I am Happy for Messi that he achieved the goal he was after but I have not been impressed by the Argentinian team display of sportsmanship at this WC and in past ones . Much like the Italian teams diving and theatrics seem to play a large part of their strategies and frankly its disrespectful to those watching and the game itself.

I am still steamed when Beckham was sent off in 98 after he was brutally cut down by the Argentinian Diego Simeone and the follow up fake dive after David Beckham bent his leg up at him. The clueless referee Kim Milton Nielsen changed the course of the game by NEEDLESSLY sending off David Beckham . I believe England could have beaten Argentina and being reduced to ten players was a huge impact on the outcome. I think the 98 England Squad was decent as was this 2022 team with but a missed PK by Kane and that red card decision for Beckham's bent leg either of these teams could have won that WC trophy.
Cheers Merry Christmas

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Douglas
Yes the referee did well in the game and I felt added to the occasion. For a short while or so in the 1st half I thought it was going to go down the pan as there were a series of fouls and Argentinian players started to feign serious injury. French players retained their discipline which helped the referee through that sticky patch.
Argentina confronted the referee at half time I suspect about the Fernandez caution which was a stone wall caution for stopping a promising attack. Fernandez stayed down apparently injured and then made a quick recovery challenging the referee's decision. It reflected an attitude by Argentina throughout the competition so gaming antics did not surprise me.

As to a 2nd caution for Martinez that was always highly unlikely given the situation. The referee was not going to make himself the front page news story of dismissing a goalkeeper in a WC final shoot-out for apparent sledging. French players should have known what was going to happen and if not it was poor preparation.

For me Argentina won the trophy yet some of their players showed a complete lack of sportsmanship and class. But sure do they care? As my good colleague Referee Dawson has referred to the ceremony the goalkeeper’s antics were in my opinion and many others totally unacceptable and an affront to the game. Such a gesture is for me a red card offence of offensive, insulting and abusive gesture which should result in a suspension. He is reported to have said that he did it because the French fans were booing him? I wonder why and given that Argentina fans outnumbered French fans by a multiple of 8 to 10 times in the stadium did it matter given the support for his team. What about all the people watching the game at home. If I was in FIFA I would be calling for a strong sanction regarding the award ceremony antics and the appropriate match sanction taken. Such a gesture cannot be ignored at this level on the world stage. If it was done towards fans at a game what would a referee do?
Jock Stein the legendary Glasgow Celtic manager, who is no longer with us, once said that it is important to win but even more important is the manner in which you win.

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