Arbitrations are getting worse

The painful events of Monday night on the Quilmes court were staged again the critical situation that soccer refereeing is going through in Argentina. The rude mistake made by the international referee Nicolás Lamolina, who sanctioned as a penalty a foul that the Quilmes striker Federico Anselmo committed on Marcelo Miño, the Ferro Carril Oeste goalkeeper, ended up resolving in favor of the Quilmeño team, which won 1 to 0 , the semi-final of the Reduced by the second promotion to Primera that Quilmes and Barracas Central will define next Tuesday from 8:10 p.m. at the Banfield or Lanús fields.

Lamolina was able to withdraw from the field of play just nine minutes after the game ended, escorted by a cordon of the Police of the Province of Buenos Aires and in the midst of the insults and attempts of aggression from some players and members of Ferro’s coaching staff, who felt that the referee and his collaborators, minimally robbed them of the possibility of reaching the definition by kicks from the penalty spot. “We saw the play 20 times, there is no collision, it is foul to the goalkeeper, the one who hits is the forward, it is an unusual play. Even the referee doubts, I do not know if someone warned him. Lamolina knows he was wrong” said Daniel Pandolfi, the president of Ferro, trying to stay calm in the middle of the storm.

It is not the first time (and unfortunately it will not be the last) in which the mistakes of the referees end up defining the results of the matches. In any case, What happened in Quilmes was the expression of a state of affairs in which the low technical and physical level of the majority of the referees, the political thread of the AFA and the return of favors and courtesies are combined. Nothing good can come out of there and every time the championships are defined, a permanent state of suspicion and suspicion surrounds the players, coaches and mainly the referees.

With the consent of Claudio Tapia, the president of the AFA, Federico Beligoy attends from both sides of the counter: he is the head of the National Arbitration Directorate and in parallel, he acts as general secretary of the Argentine Association of Arbitrators. In other words, it is the highest authority of the referees and at the same time, their union representative. Beligoy does not seem concerned about duality and operates with ease, more concerned with political disruption and influence peddling than with raising the quality of arbitrations, which is declining from date to date.

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His last strong decision raised dust throughout South America: For reasons of age, he dismissed Néstor Pitana as an international referee and let him know that it will be difficult for him to referee again at the local level. Aware of the news, the president of Conmebol, Alejandro Domínguez and the Brazilian Wilson Seneme, head of the Commission of Referees of the continental entity, included Pitana in the list of the entity and will appoint him on their own, regardless of the opinion of Beligoy.

The followers of the intricate world of Argentine soccer refereeing are not surprised by what happened this Monday with Lamolina or by what may happen in the future. Y agree that bad or suspicious arbitrations will remain the norm rather than the exception. There is no detailed monitoring of the performances, there is no analysis of the videos of the matches to correct errors, the reports of the observers are not taken into account and there is no work to unify criteria and interpretations. The predominant feeling is that the referees are left to their own devices and each one does what he sees fit, much closer to the error than to the success.. Far from dispelling doubts, the imminent application of the VAR in 2022, it will create new problems: there will be many more judges put in the pillory and it will no longer be known where the good will be and where the evil will be when it comes to whistling each foul.


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