Steve Bruce angry Newcastle
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Newcastle’s Bruce rips debutant referee after controversial call

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Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce is enraged after an apparent referee error helped cost his men a point.

Referee Tim Robinson gave Burnley a corner kick after Federico Fernandez was shoved over and prodded the ball over his own end line upon hitting the turf.

[ RECAP: Burnley 1-0 Newcastle ]

The Clarets scored off the ensuing corner, Chris Wood heading home at the back post off an Ashley Westwood corner.

“The referee, it was his first game, and unfortunately it looked like it,” Bruce said. “He’s yards away, we thought he blew for a foul. Unfortunately I think he’s found it difficult today from the very first whistle.

“It’s a foul. It’s a push in the back and it’s decided the game. If it decides the game it’s a big call. There were too many mistakes and he’s made a rod for his own back.”

Newcastle missed a chance to make it 1-1 when substitute Dwight Gayle couldn’t turn a Joelinton cross on goal, and Andy Carroll couldn’t turn an early header on frame.

Of course, Burnley also missed a big chance when Sean Longstaff gave the ball to Jack Cork.

The Clarets were the better side in terms of expected goals, but that’s almost Newcastle’s par for the course this season. Their luck, or whatever, just wasn’t there on Saturday.

Video replays can provide refs with decisions in 10 seconds

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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.

[ USMNT: World Cup qualifying scenarios ]

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.

[ MORE: Men in Blazers chat with Pulisic ]

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.”

More than 10,000 words have been cut from soccer laws

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LONDON (AP) More than 10,000 words have been cut from the “Laws of the Game” ahead of the European Championship, but don’t expect the changes to make the games in France any less controversial.

The biggest change introduced by IFAB, the body that writes the rules of soccer, helps defenders when they try to prevent an attacker from scoring. Until now, when a defender fouls an opponent in the penalty area, he could concede a penalty, be sent off and face a one-match suspension.

[ MORE: Ranking the Euro 2016 teams, 24-1 ]

Now, IFAB has ruled that if a defender is making a genuine attempt to play the ball, the referee can choose to only show him a yellow card.

The referee’s interpretation of what exactly is a “genuine attempt,” however, is sure to cause endless debate.

Tournament referees will be briefing players and coaches about the changes this week as teams arrive in France to prepare for the Euro 2016.

“The main reason for the change,” IFAB said, “is that a penalty kick is a very good opportunity to score a goal so it `restores’ the goal scoring opportunity that was lost by the DOGSO (Denial of a Goal-Scoring Opportunity) offense.”

If a player handles the ball in the penalty area, or doesn’t try to get the ball when you tackle, it’ll still be a red card.

“Our aim was to make it easier for everyone involved with football to read and understand the Laws and to achieve this,” IFAB said.

IFAB is made up of the four British soccer associations and four FIFA representatives.

The editing process has resulted in dozens of minor tweaks that could cause confusion at all levels of the game, not just the professional matches at the European Championship or the Copa America in the United States.

[ MORE: All of PST’s Euro 2016 coverage ]

In advice to match officials accompanying the new laws, IFAB urged referees to use common sense and to apply the “spirit of the game” when making decisions.

“This is especially true for the lower levels of football, where it may not always be possible for the Law to be strictly applied,” IFAB said.

Here’s a look at some other changes:

– Kick-off: The ball can now be kicked in any direction, including backward. Previously the ball had to be kicked forward.

– Offside: Players’ arms and hands are not considered when an assistant referee judges if a player is offside. Even a goalkeeper’s hands are not considered.

– Penalties: If a goalkeeper moves early and causes the penalty to be re-taken, he or she will be shown a yellow card.

– Fouls: If a foul involves contact with the opponent, it is a direct free kick.

– Equipment: Any material covering the socks must be the same color as the socks. This includes tape or any other material.

– Leaving the field: If a player is injured and the culprit gets a red or yellow card as a result, the injured player does not have to leave the field of play after receiving medical treatment.

– Sending off offenses: A player may be sent off as soon as the referee enters the field of play for a pre-match field inspection.

2.Bundesliga player insults female ref, forced to ref girls’ game

Fortuna Dusseldorf Facebook

Lessons are sometimes better learned with a dash of creativity, and Fortuna Dusseldorf certainly had a trick up its sleeve when it punished player Kerem Demirbay.

Demirbay, 22, received a pair of yellow cards from female referee Bibi Steinhaus during a match against FSV Frankfurt on Nov. 29.

[ MORE: Mourinho not worried about sacking ]

As he was dismissed, he told Steinhaus that women have no place in football. He later publicly apologized, dismissing it as the error of a young player.

And in addition to Demirbay’s league-issued suspension and fine, Fortuna decided he’d serve an additional punishment. This one showed that women very much have a place in the game.

An actual game.

From WhoAteAllThePies.TV:

However, his club weren’t finished there. Indeed, Fortuna also made sure Demirbay paid full penance for his sins against equality by forcing him to go along and referee a local all-girls’ game.

Bravo. And we love his “referee’s uniform”.

VIDEO: TV commentator sent off for criticizing referee


There’s thin skin, and then there’s what Jimmy Torres, a soccer referee in the Costa Rican second division, did over the weekend.

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Torres was alerted by one of his assistant referees to comments that had been made by television commentator Henry de Jesus Diaz during the game, comments which reportedly painted Torres as a “terrible” referee. So Torres ejected Diaz from the stadium, presumably for a unique form of dissent (above video).


[ MORE: Three keys to three points for the USMNT vs. T&T ]

Does a referee have the power to do such a thing? Surely not, though that didn’t stop Torres, who threatened to call the game off if Diaz didn’t put down the microphone and walk away. This would seem to be a brand new low in hypersensitivity and abuse of power, but now I’m afraid Torres will attempt to have me booted from the PST staff for calling him thin-skinned.