Vanishing spray makes near-perfect Premier League debut


The popular free-kick tool known as “magic spray” made its debut in the Premier League on Saturday.  Across England, every spray of the vanishing white foam was greeted with applause and cheers from the stands.

Most of the refs seemed happy with their new-found spraying power. In particular, Manchester United-Swansea City referee Mike Dean, who used his canister with great enthusiasm (though Nathan Dyer wasn’t too impressed with this line).

Unfortunately, with any new product there’s always a chance of it backfiring. Poor referee Jon Moss learned that the hard way as he attempted to draw out the lines for an Arsenal free kick, and ended up spraying it all over himself:


Brutal. Hopefully that stuff doesn’t sting. Practice makes perfect, Jon. Keep at it and you’ll get the hang of it eventually.

Photographs: Action Images, Getty Images


Linesman trolled so hard by Portuguese fans

Being a linesman can be a lonely gig, but one assistant referee in Portugal was recently lucky enough to have his very own cheering section.

In a third-division match between Ermesinde and Perosinho last month, a small group of comedians fans made it their mission to troll one of the linesmen, following him up and down the touchline and celebrating his every move.

Though the match official seems to find it quite amusing, we’d wager he grew exponentially more embarrassed as the prank continued.

This hasn’t been the first such stunt; check out these crazy Cadiz CF fans:

H/T Pies


Game in Italy to be replayed after wrong twin is sent off

imageDon’t worry, Andre. You’re not alone (Image: Reuters)

Just a few weeks ago, veteran Premier League referee Andre Marriner caught flack for sending off the wrong Arsenal player against Chelsea, hilariously mistaking Kieran Gibbs for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Alas, it seems Marriner has started a terrible trend, because over in Italy, a referee in an amateur league game made a similar error, albeit slightly more excusable.

In a ninth division match against GS Alviano, SSD Castello’s Michele Rossi saw a red card for a foul actually committed by his twin brother, Matteo.

From The Guardian:

"The referee, purely due to error, in the 27th minute of the second half sent off SSD Castello’s No. 7, Michele Rossi, instead of their No. 9, Matteo Rossi," wrote Marco Brusco, the sporting judge of the Umbria regional league organization.

The striker Matteo, who had put Castello 2-1 up, committed a foul that led to a row erupting between the two sides.

Amid the chaos the referee, a Mr. Cirillo from Terni, mistakenly sent off Michele instead of Matteo.

"It was an error that had an undoubted impact on the game and as such the match should be replayed," added Brusco.

How silly is it that. When such a mistake happens in the Italian ninth-division, the match gets replayed, but not in the Premier League?

Go figure.


Saudi Arabian Premier League offers daily dose of sportsmanship

When a match doesn’t go as desired, fans and coaches often use referees as scapegoats. On the whole, though, we’d say that refs are good at doing their jobs.

That said, what in the world was the referee in this Saudi Arabian Premier League match between Al Nahda and Al Ittihad thinking? Fortunately for all of us, the players on the field restored faith in humanity after this farce. Let’s set the scene.

Al Nahdha keeper Taisir Al Antaif lines up to start play but notices his shoe is untied. This is a problem, because he’s wearing gloves from the Mickey Mouse collection. Enter: Jobson, Al Ittihad’s striker with a heart of gold.

In the vein of good sportsmanship, Jobson notices the dilemma and ties Al Antaif’s shoe for him. The two exchange a high five and the game, tied 2-2, continues.

Then the referee intervenes. He blows the whistle for Al Antiaf taking too long to star play, thus giving Al Ittihad a free kick in a very dangerous area.

Safe to say that everyone in the entire stadium, Al Ittihad fans included, think the decision is a dubious one … to put it nicely. But in the continued spirit of sportsmanship, Al Ittihad just harmlessly pushes the ball out of bounds for a goal kick. Talk about fair play.

Final score line: Benevolence 2, Miserliness 1.

(h/t LiveLeak)


Soccer referee survives real life version of “Angry Birds”

A linesman’s game day duties in Brazil got a little more intense than he expected last week. While trying to run up and down the sideline, he was treated to an unwelcome aerial attack.

During the Santa Catarina State Championship match between Navegantes and Inter de Lages, a bird suddenly began swooping on referee Maycon Vieira. The rather angry bird continued its attack, swooping over and over, causing Vieira to test his dipping, ducking and dodging skills while also trying to officiate the match.

Even after the swooping stopped, Vieira was probably checking over his shoulder every chance he could to make sure the bird wasn’t plotting any sneak attacks. It’s unclear was the bird was so angry about, but maybe he was a Inter de Lages fan and took offense to a call the linesman made? We’ll never know, but it sure provided an entertaining sideshow for the spectators.

(H/T Dirty Tackle)


Spanish police blasted with calls for robbery after Real Madrid’s scandal win

Real Madrid beat La Liga new boys Elche on Wednesday under plenty of criticism, and by criticism we mean over a hundred outraged Elche fans reported Real to the national police for robbery:

Translation: “We have received >120 mentions of football in the last ten minutes … Remember, we try to help you on SAFETY”

So, were Elche really robbed? You be the judge.

The newly promoted side scored a shock equalizer in the 89th minute to get on the verge of a major upset, but then Real Madrid was saved by the bell — or this case, the whistle of referee César Muñiz — as Madrid’s Pepe was awarded a highly questionable 91st minute penalty (which Ronaldo converted for the match-winner)

Watch as Pepe gets rewarded for literally taking down his opponent:

Sure looks like highway robbery, but to others, the conclusion of the match resembled more a slapstick comedy. Take Barcelona’s Gerard Pique, for example.

That translates into: “Watching a comedy film on Canal+ Liga. Always going well at this time of night!”
Touche, Pique. Touche.

Countering the Barcelona man’s neg, however, Real’s Álvaro Arbeloa stuck with the comedy theme and took a stab at Barca’s tendency for similar theatrics:

Meaning: “Very happy with the 3 points! I’m glad that some change from theater to cinema, that is always good!”

Ahh yes, good ol’ rivalry banter. So, when’s the first Clasico?


This is why Matt Besler will miss Tuesday’s WCQ vs Mexico

Three members of the US Men’s National Team earned themselves a suspension on yellow card accumulation Friday night against Costa Rica. Jozy Altidore, Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler are all ineligible for tomorrow’s clash against Mexico, but no suspension has caused as much of a stir as that of Besler’s.

The defender received his yellow card for bumping into Ticos forward Joel Campbell late in the match and away from the action. The act was not caught by TV cameras, nor was it even seen by the match referee, but today video of the “foul” emerged, and it tells quite a different story. It appears that Campbell blatantly dove to the ground after brushing up against Besler, who was simply walking around minding his own business.

Understandably, Besler was irked by what he saw:

Campbell might want to keep a close eye on his mailbox the next few weeks. He should be receiving his “Best Actor” nomination from the Academy real soon.


Craig Bellamy pours water all over referee

During Sunday’s famous victory over Manchester City, Cardiff City striker Craig Bellamy played a practical joke on referee Lee Probert, pouring water all over the man in black. Now, normally you would never see this kind of thing. It’s common knowledge that referees are the most humorless lot in the world, and any slight physical contact with them almost never goes unpunished.

However, Bellamy probably knew who he was dealing with. After all, this is the same man who proved that referees can, in fact, have a playful side. Last season, after inadvertently finding himself sandwiched between Fulham’s Steve Sidwell and Wigan’s Ben Watson, Probert jestingly showed Watson a red card while getting attended to on the pitch:

Фаулираха съдията на мача Уигън - Фулъм by FootballKing2192


Kung-fu kick halts match in Paraguay

A player in Paraguay responded to a series of red cards for his teammates by kung-fu kicking the referee straight in the face!

In a regional league match against Coronel Romero, Porvenir player Aldo Olmedo was rightly sent off for an atrocious tackle in the 71st minute. The referee was then angrily approached by two Porvenir players who somehow thought Olmedo’s tackle was defensible. Bumping into the ref  earned both players straight red cards as well (again, pretty straightforward).

Suddenly down to eight men, the rest of the team promptly converged on the official, with one (No. 11 shirt) going so far as to unleashing a textbook kung-fu side kick right into the referee’s grill. At this point, the police quickly entered the fray to prevent any further fighting, and the match was halted with Coronel Romero up 2-0 (though Porvenir probably didn’t have enough players left to continue anyway).


Iranian youth coach arrested after assaulting referee

A youth match in Iran turned ugly after a series of verbal altercations between one team’s coach and the referee led to some postgame fisticuffs.

After the referee dismissed the coach in question for repeatedly berating him during the game, the irate manager decided to walk over after the final whistle and give him a little more than just a piece of his mind.

Accepting the challenge, the referee was clearly ready to throw down. After being separated, he promptly started to strip off his jersey — a telltale sign that he’s probably not someone you mess with — eager to return the favor. Though the two hotheads were successfully isolated at first, the referee eventually got hold of his assailant down the tunnel for a little payback, as these images show:




Pictures via 101GG

The coach was arrested after the dustup, but has since reportedly been released.