Those of you who think this World Cup has had many refereeing mistakes and has been a let-down in this department may have to think again. According to a panel of FIFA analysts, referees at this World Cup got no less than 96% of the decisions right.

The study took a look at video replays of important decisions such as free-kicks, penalties, bookings and goal-line incidents. It is, however, entirely curious and maybe a little bit alarming how they have decided that very few mistakes were made. I think when it comes to penalties and free-kicks there actually weren’t too many errors, which is an improvement on previous World Cups, but most of the red cars alone have been ridiculous decisions that should push the error rate easily beyond 4%. Not to mention how many yellow cards were given for next to nothing.

I’m fairly certain that Lampard’s clear goal for England vs. Germany is part of that 4%, and possibly Tevez’s wrongly given goal vs. Mexico, which was an offside. It begs the question though if there really is much of a point of video replays, if even when using them FIFA can barely spot any of their mistakes. That robot-referees idea really isn’t sounding that bad right now.

Say what you will about the calls in this tournament, though, at least it hasn’t been as bad as the previous two World Cups. So we can be thankful for that at least.


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