Belfast Telegraph

Alan Green: With a few exceptions refs exceed expectations

There are aspects of this World Cup that frustrate. Though ‘security’ is everywhere, much of it is enforced without thought.

They’d rather confiscate Chris Waddle’s wine gums than stop the England fan who got into the team’s dressing room at Cape Town.

Actually, given the slick movement by the culprit and his evasion of those that should have stopped him, I think Capello should consider picking him tomorrow.

However, there is much to praise. Bar the ruling out of a perfectly valid third goal for the USA against Slovenia and the ridiculous dismissal of Kaka, I think the refereeing has been very, very good.

For example, my ill-informed scepticism about the Uzbekistan official who was in charge of the opening match and then England’s game against Algeria was wholly wrong.

And referees are being helped by a marked absence of diving (the play-acting of Ivory Coast’s Keita notwithstanding). I believed that the scourge of English football would stain this World Cup but, again, I’ve largely been proved wrong and I’m more than happy to admit it.

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