Bjorn Kuipers

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Video replays can provide refs with decisions in 10 seconds


BARI, Italy (AP) In 10 seconds, Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers got all the feedback he wanted from the two assistants examining video replays in a truck outside the stadium.

Instead of sending off France defender Djibril Sidibe for a hard foul into the left leg of Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi three minutes into a friendly, Kuipers pulled out a yellow card instead.

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It’s exactly what FIFA was hoping for from video assistance tests for referees – keeping interruptions to a minimum and maintaining the flow of play.

“The feedback I got in just 10 seconds convinced me to give a yellow instead of sending off the player,” Kuipers said Friday, a day after France’s 3-1 win.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino hopes “video assistant referees” will be used at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

“Last night a page of football history was written,” said Infantino, who attended the match in Bari. “Finally, after years of words, we’ve moved on to facts.”

Experiments are also being held in national club competitions this season, including Australia’s A-League, the Bundesliga, the league and cups in Portugal, Major League Soccer, and Serie A.

[ USMNT-SVG: Match recap | Player ratings]

Video replay officiating would be restricted to decisions on goals being scored, penalties being awarded, players being sent off, and cases of mistaken identity.

The only technology currently used in soccer is to rule on disputed goals.

“We can no longer allow the entire world to see something big where the only one who can’t see it, because it’s not permitted, is the referee,” Infantino said.

Kuipers also relied on video assistance when Italy protested for a perceived handball by Layvin Kurzawa following a header from De Rossi in the first half.

“I noticed that the players accepted the decisions more calmly,” Kuipers said. “It’s better for everyone, even for the refs so they’re calmer and surer of themselves.”

The test was considered “semi-live” because Kuipers did not review any replays on the field.

FIFA has not introduced on-site screen reviewing yet. Instead, Kuipers was assisted through radio communications.

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Getting back to the Sidibe foul, Kuiper recounted how Italy’s players were demanding a red card.

“So I had the moment to speak to the VAR, he gave me the input to give a yellow and the players accepted it,” Kuipers said. “(Giorgio) Chiellini for example said, `Clear rosso, rosso (red),’ and I said, `It’s a yellow card. It’s enough.’ So they accept it and it’s finished.”

John Terry says Chelsea swarmed referee because PSG did it first

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If Chelsea’s players are “babies” for swarming referee Bjorn Kuipers during Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League tie at Stamford Bridge, then they were just buckling to Paris Saint-Germain’s peer pressure.

Blues captain John Terry said he had choice but to lobby Kuipers to give Zlatan Ibrahimovic a red card after Wednesday’s collision with Chelsea teammate Oscar.

[ MORE: Chelsea/PSG reaction & fallout ]

Terry said no team is any worse or better than any other when it comes to arguing with the referee.

From the BBC:

“Once they’re charging the ref, the only thing we can do is respond,” said the former England defender, 34.

“You can’t let them surround the ref, trying to get our players booked.

“If I have to run 20, 30 yards, it doesn’t look great, but when you’re standing back and seeing five or six of their players surrounding the ref, I think I support my team-mates. And once I go, four or five go with me.

“It doesn’t look good at all, but that’s part of the game. We’ll match it if people want to mix it. That’s part of our game as well.”

As the kids say, I’m just going to leave this here for you folks to discuss. Perhaps I’m too jaded on last night’s spectacle to comment with an open mind.

Chelsea 2-2 (3-3) Paris Saint-Germain: 10-man PSG pull off extra time, instant classic win to eliminate Blues

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We just watched one of the most entertaining matches in soccer history. There aren’t many words to describe it, but we’ll try.

Despite an early red card, Paris Saint-Germain rallied to beat hosts Chelsea and advance to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals with a 2-2 extra time draw at Stamford Bridge.

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Eden Hazard converted a 96th minute penalty after Thiago Silva’s theatrically-poor handball, but Silva headed the ‘winner’ home in the 114th minute to pull the Ligue 1 side through.

Bjorn Kuipers gave a red card to Zlatan Ibrahimovic (WATCH and VOTE here) in the 33rd minute after a controversial collision with Oscar, and Chelsea got an 81st minute goal from Gary Cahill. Ex-Chelsea man David Luiz sent the match into extra time with a powerful header in the 86th.

Regardless of who won, Kuipers had a stunningly poor day. At least he was consistent in making baffling decisions. Kuipers has given a red card in three-straight UCL matches, and this one came after Jose Mourinho set the “dirty PSG” narrative on Tuesday (correlation, not causation).

Jose Mourinho will rue his tactics for the final hour of regulation, as he sat back against a 10-man PSG side.

PSG began the match with cutting runs and effective movement toward the Chelsea goal, but Thibault Courtois collected a second minute corner and Chelsea began its own attack.

Marco Verratti earned cries for a penalty when Chelsea back Kurt Zouma collided with him in the 18, but no such luck was headed PSG’s way.

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And then Chelsea caught a major break, as Ibrahimovic was given a red card for a late slide on Oscar that was hardly worthy of a red.

With the match 0-0 at halftime, Chelsea controlled the ball but took few risks at the outset of the second half. Their away goal would hold up in the case of a 0-0 draw.

source: Getty ImagesBut Edinson Cavani almost shocked the system with a brilliant run and touch around Courtois before an awkward touch pushed him towards a tight-angled shot that hit the post.

Oddly enough, it was 10-man PSG that had chance after chance as the game entered its final half-hour, but seemed hesitant to get solid strikes at Courtois.

Then Cahill picked up Diego Costa’s flubbed volley out of the air and hammered it past Salvatore Sirigu to give Chelsea a cushion.

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All said, Courtois may’ve been the Man of the Match, keeping a clean sheet against a desperate Parisian side.

But then…. Luiz! The former Chelsea sweeper headed a cross past Courtois in the 86th minute, and Mourinho’s side was in danger of a horrific collapse.

To extra time, where Didier Drogba entered for Ramires as Mourinho poured the gas on 10-man PSG. But it was Hazard who would put Chelsea in front with a PK after Thiago Silva leapt with two arms in the air to combat Zouma, touching the ball before the Blues defender headed it.

Courtois made a strong save in the 101st minute when he dove back to tap Luiz’s free kick over the bar.


Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Fabregas, Matic (Zouma, 84′); Ramires (Drogba, 90′), Oscar (Willian, 46′), Hazard; Diego Costa

Goal: Cahill (81′), Hazard (PK, 96′)

PSG: Sirigu; Marquinhos, David Luiz, Thiago Silva, Maxwell; Verratti (Lavezzi, 83′), Motta, Matuidi (Rabiot, 84′); Cavani, Ibrahimovic, Pastore (Van der Wiel, 117′)

Goals: Luiz (86′), Silva (114′)

WATCH and VOTE: Did Zlatan deserve a red for this collision with Oscar? (video)


This is a heck of a way to lose your place in Europe (if it comes to that for PSG).

Referee Bjorn Kuipers awarded a red card to Paris Saint-Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic after this collision with Chelsea’s Oscar.

[ RELATED: Champions League schedule ]

In our humble opinion, both players are sliding recklessly as Zlatan appears to pull out of the tackle and Oscar flails out at the PSG striker. Then Oscar hits the ground like the fish in the Faith No More’s “Epic” video.

What say you?