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Don’t blame the referees, blame the players

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I watched the Brazil v Ivory Coast match in the bar of a Cape Town media hotel on Sunday and, not that it was really needed, was given another reminder of what an impossible job referees have in modern football.

When Luis Fabiano broke through to score Brazil’s second goal, the reaction of around 60 watching journalists ranged from joy to disappointment – but nobody was crying “handball.”

After three TV replays, suddenly it seemed that French referee Stephane Lannoy had blundered in missing what had now somehow become an “obvious handball.”

More replays, a second handling offence revealed, and it was a world conspiracy against African soccer.

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