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Criticism of Referees Diminishes with Introduction of Foreign Ones

Criticism of Referees Diminishes with Introduction of Foreign Ones

Posted November. 05, 2007 03:11,   


One of the slogans most frequently heard by the audience during K-league soccer games is not heard as much during the post season. The slogan is, “Wake up, referee.”

Whenever a referee rules against a team they are rooting for, cheering squad chanted this slogan. This shows how much fans have lost confidence in local referees’ authority and reliability.

In particular, controversies regarding referee rulings have continued this season. In an effort to resolve the matter, the Korean Professional Football League (KPFL) deployed a foreign referee for the semi play-off games between the Pohang Steelers and Ulsan Hyundai held October 28. They are German referees currently refereeing in Germany’s Bundesliga league.

The first match of the championship playoff between Pohang and Seongnam held yesterday was the third match where a foreigner refereed in. The referee was Christian Fischer (37), a referee of Deutscher Fussaball-Bund (DFB) and a third-year referee in the Bundesliga.

Some might say that it is really necessary to bring in a foreign referee to the K-league, but their introduction was successful, at least so far.

Foreign referee’s rulings have been strict and consistent. Players also didn’t complain as much, probably because of the authority of referees from the advanced league. Accordingly, games were not delayed like they were before when a foul was whistled.

However, head coach of Seongnam Kim Hak-bum noted, “I don’t necessarily think foreign referees are better than local ones.” What matters is the reliability and authority of a referee.