added time, fewer red cards… Qatar’s refereeing arrives in France


Lovers of Ligue 1 who watched the World Cup will have noticed that the refereeing in Qatar was very different from that observed in the French championship: fewer fouls whistled, fewer warnings handed out, additional time extended to respond to the actual time of the match (104 minutes on average according to the statistician Opta).

This difference is also noticeable in the figures: if almost as many yellow cards were distributed during the World Cup (3.5 per match) as in Ligue 1 (3.6), the referees did much less use of the red card, released only four times, or one every 1,478 minutes, against one every 250 minutes in France, according to Opta.

Supportive coaches

Several Ligue 1 coaches are in favor of it. “Everything was not perfect but I really liked the spirit in which the referees ruled the matches,” noted Rennes coach Bruno Genesio. That of Marseille, Igor Tudor, goes even further: “If it only included me, we would go to the actual playing time tomorrow, with twice thirty minutes. There would be more rhythm, less cinema, cuts, exaggerations.”

The debate is all the more necessary since arbitration in Ligue 1 has been widely criticized for its severity since the start of the season. Eleven red cards were distributed during the third day, a record. “It’s a reflection to have, notes Laurent Blanc, coach of Lyon. The VAR (video assistance to arbitration, editor’s note) had to settle everything and we realize that not.

“I think (…) that before the federal assembly on January 7, we will have a new director”, slips Éric Borghini, president of the Federal Commission of Arbitrators (CFA). “I think that French refereeing will be inspired by the philosophy of the World Cup, he says. We will certainly encourage the fluidity of the game and the increase in the effective time of the game because it corresponds to the need to promote our Ligue 1 both for the broadcasters and for the fans in the stadium.”

New directives on January 16?

But no directives will be given to the referees for several weeks. “All of this will be formalized when the new team is in place, he explains. We are bringing together all the referees and all the assistants on January 16. At that time, a certain number of things will be said. The refereeing of World Cup matches, however, has no more at all.

“The primary objective was to safeguard the physical integrity of the players, recalls former international referee Tony Chapron. ‘is not the right direction.’ Regarding the duration of the meetings, “we do not tackle the real problem: the time lost during the game”, according to Chapron. “I recommend that as soon as we bring in a lord, it’s two minutes outside and you’ll see that there will be a lot fewer + injuries +.”

Between laxity and severity of the whistles, the former international referee Bruno Derrien calls instead to find “a happy medium”. “In this World Cup, there are fouls that could be reprimanded more, especially anti-play fouls. If you put an entry card, the player will think twice before committing the same foul. is a happy medium to be found between these two ways of doing things.

Europe 1

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