Hungary’s Viktor Kassai did not feature in the initial shortlist of referees drawn by Cricinfosite, for the semi-finals and final of the World Cup.
The reason why we did not consider him was his relative youth. At 35, he is among the youngest referees on duty at the World Cup.
A referee’s job is thankless, made more so by the fact that he is often dealing with prima donnas with a huge fan following. a single error could be hyped up by the media to such an extent as to threaten the referee’s international career.
Often a referee’s support staff, namely, the linesmen could blunder, and the main referee could still get blamed for it. This was highlighted in England’s match against Germany where the linesman failed to see Lampard’s shot at goal cross the line. And Larrionda copped all the blame.
And we had serious doubts as to whether a younger referee would be able to handle the pressure in a tournament where senior referees such as Larrionda have floundered.
But when we heard that the second semi-final between Spain and Germany had been assigned to Kassai, we were not unhappy about FIFA’s choice. Because Kassai has been among the more non-controversial referees in South Africa, this last month.
Kassai became part of FIFA’s elite panel in 2003. Among his best accomplishments, the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada, the UEFA Euro 2008 the 2008 Olympic Games (men’s tournament), including in the final, and the qualifiers for the 2010 FIFA World Cup stand out.
Before tonight’s semi-final, Kassai has officiated at 3 matches, in this tournament: Brazil Vs DPR Korea, Mexico vs Uruguay, and USA Vs Ghana.
In all, the young Hungarian handed out 6 yellow cards, and no red cards, in these 3 matches. In the Brazil match, Felipe Melo was the lone man to be awarded a yellow card. In the Mexico-Uruguay encounter, Hernandez and of Mexico, and fucile of Uruguay were the three men to be penalized. In the USA Vs Ghana game, USA’s Donovan and Ghana’s Gyan and Castro were the recipients.
There are some similarities between Irmatov (who refereed the first semi-final) and Kassai. Both are among the youngest referees, with Irmatov 2 years younger than Kassai. Also, neither referee is card happy. Like Irmatov, Kassai has also not awarded any red cards, during this tournament.
We wish Kassai a great match, in tonight’s semi-final, between Spain and Germany.
Source by Suresh Iyer