World Cup refs 96 percent accurate, 4 percent awful

Brooks Peck

Good news, everybody! The fact that horrible referee decisions have marred this World Cup in a very noticeable and reoccurring way has apparently been a figment of our collective imaginations. According to Jose Maria Garcia-Aranda, the former ref who now serves as FIFA's Head of Refereeing, analysis of all but the final two matches of the tournament has revealed that referees have been right 96 percent of the time. Says Garcia-Aranda via the AP:

''It is a big success. We have to say it is not an opinion [but] facts.''

FIFA acknowledged that referees made errors, though in ''only a few'' matches.

Hooray! The facts prove that the refereeing was a "big success" and not an embarrassing failure most notable for high-profile and blatantly wrong disallowed goals, offside goals, and much, much more.

Reuters says that the study that produced these glowing numbers only "looked at key decisions such as free kicks, penalties and goal decisions but did not examine minor rulings such as throw-ins."

[Photos: More images of the World Cup referees]

Referee for the Spain-Germany semifinal, Viktor Kassai, meanwhile, takes a more reasonable position on these results, saying that he's both not surprised by the high success rate and admits that improvements can always be made.

“Top referees figures should be around that, it sounds a realistic figure to me.

“The problem always is of course that in a match if you have 200 decisions, if one is wrong and that is a vital one, then no one cares about the other 199.

“We are like the goalkeepers who can make 10 great saves but then let in a howler at the end - which gets remembered? Regardless of the numbers though, we have to aim for faultless performances.”

If only they had some kind of technological advancement to help them work toward that...

Photo: Getty Images

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