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How Sweet Revanche - Germany Eliminated

This is only the second time that Germany have been eliminated from the first round at the World Cup having last done so in 1938 - however, this is the first time it has happened when the first round has been in a group stage format.

Germany crashed out of the World Cup group stages and finished bottom of Group F | The Guardian |

I maintain that the quality of football has left something to be desired at times, but this World Cup is providing us with far too many astonishing storylines. Remember when Spain sacked their manager two days before their opening game? Yeah, that happened. Remember when Marcos Rojo rescued Argentina? That was only last night. Remember when France drew 0-0 with Denmark? This is shaping up to be a memorable tournament. Let's hope the drama doesn't dip during the knockout stage.

I consider the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) a major improvement for the game. Has anyone noted any dives this tournament? Was always a blemish on sportsmanship of the game of football. The Dutch were requested to be partner in the VAR experiment for their national league. Marco van Basten took the initiative as FIFA advisor.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Jun 27th, 2018 at 06:45:43 PM EST
Just like that, Mexico taught the world how to shut the German machine down.

I saw 2 interesting explanations:

(1) The German team was not hungry after a series of routine triumphs.

(2) Germany had too much talent, and they chose players for compliance with the system. Thus no creative sparks under pressure.

by das monde on Wed Jun 27th, 2018 at 09:56:06 PM EST
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The impact of VAR felt uneasy initially, as wouldn't you like to see France, Spain sweat more against Australia, Iran than enjoying a welfare of thin decisions on penalties, goals, offsides? Eventually, this VAR impact could turn out much better than in American sports. So far, the first instances reveal the depth of football's consequential ambiguities. Just comparing the penalty area hands in Portugal-Iran, Argentina-Australia, Sweden-Mexico is an epistemological headache. And then there are questions of consistency, frequency of consulting VAR.

Has anyone noted any dives this tournament?

It depends what you would call a dive. Particularly inside opponent's penalty area, many players seem to be very skillful in leverage minimal body contacts into "obvious" faults. The very first VAR penalty in France-Australia was a harsh reminder to Australia that players always stumble on defenders on the ground:

So, at 0:22, isn't Griezmann loosing balance on the wrong leg, a full step behind the defender?

And in this clear penalty in Argentina-Nigeria, that movement towards ground from 0:04, was it Mascherano pulling Balogun down, or... Balogun vigorously leaning into Mascherano?

These semi-dives are quite ubiquitous, and their resolution is another epistemological headache.

by das monde on Wed Jun 27th, 2018 at 10:33:35 PM EST
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Just comparing the penalty area hands in Portugal-Iran, Argentina-Australia ....

Argentina-Nigeria, surely.

This high profile rant as a bonus:

Alan Shearer Left Seething With VAR After Controversy Reigns During Iran vs Portugal Clash

by das monde on Thu Jun 28th, 2018 at 12:26:17 AM EST
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Review of referee decision and VAR analysis after the match ...

France vs Australia 2-1 | Post Match Analysis & Reactions | World Cup 2018

Discussion: it's a "soft" penalty, but is it a penalty. Yes, the contact was there and it prevented Griezman from scoring. Mind you, there was no red card, as the rules interpretation must have changed. Outside the box it will be a red card, inside the box with a given penalty a yellow card. With the VAR review no card was given.

The Slate article was quite positive and sees the VAR as a contribution to the sport. And it's a first time at this level with a global combination of international referees. Not all national league games around the world are played at the highest professional level. That has been a major problem with referees in  past World Cups.

I must confess I am still a field hockey referee at the highest youth level in The Netherlands. Have been active for 33 years with major rules changes of the game to make play more continuous and less time for players and coaches to discuss decisions with referees. Great problem with hockey is the lack of knowledge of the rules by players, coaches and parents supporting the teams. Same for Football reporters in the studio, just amazes me how poor their knowledge is of the rules of the game.

As I understand, there will be a review of any goal scored if there could be any doubt as with the off-side rule. The first goal scored by South Korea in 90+3 min was 100% clean score, yet to everyone's surprise the linesman raises the yellow flag. It was clear the goal would stand. The VAR video offers the referee a review, not bad as it was the game's decision. Glad Neuer thought he was better to participate in the field after his fellow players didn't manage to score a goal in 95 min of play. :-)  

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jun 28th, 2018 at 05:46:19 AM EST
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