Sunday, January 24, 2010

Back to basics

Referee Sreng Hao Dy at least kept his eyes open for the pre-match toss-up. Also keeping a close watch is the 4th official, who switched off later in the game.
I'm on a rant. And yes it's referees again. This time the man in the middle of yesterday's international friendly between Cambodia and Ulsan University. Mr Sreng Hao Dy was the man charged with officiating the game and on the whole he did okay-ish. At least he got the toss-up right. He was a bit petty, handing out two yellow cards for time-wasting in the 1st half and for getting in the way of a keeper's throw out, but when some juicy tackles were flying in from both sides in the second half, he kept his cards in his pocket. However, he fell flat on his arse on the 62nd minute when he booked Ulsan's You Joo Hun for a crap tackle on Sun Sovannrithy. What he failed to realize was that he had booked the same player after 14 minutes for a similar tackle on Chan Rithy. Now I know that all the Korean team sported the same bowl-shaped haircut so individual identification was hard at close quarters but surely he could hear me shouting from the stand that it was the player's 2nd booking. Everyone else did. But no, he obviously can't read his own scribble and blew his whistle to restart the game. It was 3 minutes later that a linesman finally grabbed his attention, pointed out his error and Sreng Hao Dy brandished the red card with a flourish. Incredibly embarrassing for the referee and in my view the 4th official (Thong Chankethya), who is supposed to be the back-up for the match officials, but he too failed to notice the error. In fact he was too busy sorting out a substitution for Ulsan, who had noticed the referee's mistake and wanted to get You Joo Hun off the pitch pronto. They sneakily recalled their sub once the referee had woken up. To be frank it's simply not good enough. This was an international match, and whilst the Cambodian match officials can get away with an error like that in the CPL, getting the basics so wrong in an international game is horribly embarrassing for all concerned. If they want to be taken seriously, they really have got to step up to the mark and act professionally. I'm still scratching my head that match referee Khoun Vireak allowed Phnom Penh Crown to walk off the pitch in the Super 4 play-offs last year and then restarted the match thirty minutes later. Refereeing standards in Cambodia must improve.



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