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Richard Whittall

England vs. Germany ref gives red cards in 70% of games

Dirty Tackle

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Jorge Larrionda, the Uruguayan referee assigned to the England vs. Germany round of 16 match on Sunday, apparently "enjoys breeding animals, mainly birds dogs and parrots." He is also quite fond of taking little red cards out of his pocket. So fond in fact that, as the Guardian reported this morning, he has sent off players in a whopping 70% of matches he's refereed at the international level since 1999.

Larrionda has already got into hot water this World Cup for not awarding Serbia what many felt was a clear penalty in their 2-1 loss to Australia. And four years ago, USA fans might remember Larrionda's strange calls from their contentious match against Italy in the 2006 World Cup, when three players were sent off. But you have to hand it to him; at a rate like 70%, he is at least consistent.

And despite the fact the poker dealer ref will likely play to the advantage of a speedy, younger Germany over a more physical England, neither team should be too disappointed if one of their players gets sent off (as one of them likely will). The eventual World Cup winners have usually had a player red carded along the way to lifting the trophy anyway.

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