Again, no firm hand. Mostovoy, Fedotov and Nikolaev explain why the referees are killing our football again

The main heroes of the 23rd round of the Russian Premier League were not Sochi, which almost beat Zenit. Not the Urals, which put CSKA on the verge of defeat. And not “Locomotive”, which plugged “Spartak” in the depths of the standings. The main “heroes” were once again the referees. Again in the Russian championship they are not talking about football, but about referees.

  • Lokomotiv-Spartak match: referees are forced to play in a snowstorm, risk the health of football players, and even do not remove the midfielder “Loko” Beka-Beka for a foul.
  • The match between Krasnodar and Dynamo: the referees put a very dubious penalty on Smolov, and only thanks to him the white and blues win.
  • CSKA – Ural match. The referee for 90 + 6 minutes watches the video replay, and does not put a penalty, which is seen by all experts…

How can that be? How do the referees make such mistakes round after round that it is hard to believe in their impartiality? Why doesn’t the VAR system, which costs hundreds of millions of rubles, help?

“KP Sport” talked to experts to understand what is happening with the judges again.

Spartak was dissatisfied with the work of referee Karasev in the derby with Loko. Photo: RPL

All the results of the 23rd round of the Russian championship
All the results of the 23rd round of the Russian championship

Judges have no “generals”

Now the Russian judges are in fact left to themselves. The head of the refereeing department of the Russian Football Union, Vitor Pereira, first left for Portugal, where he was going to steer Russian referees remotely, and then left his post altogether.

In early March, three members of the Expert Judges’ Commission (ESC) also left Russia. It is there that controversial issues are considered and decisions are made as to whether the judge was wrong or not. We left because foreigners. Frank De Blackere, Wolfgang Stark and Alan Snoddy left Russia because of the military operation in Ukraine.

– We hope that this suspension is temporary, depending on the situation in Ukraine, – said in a joint statement.

Now foreigners are unlikely to return to RPL, and the ESC is recruiting new staff who do not seem to have fully mastered the new positions. Pereira was also replaced. Pavel Kamantsev, who was recommended by Ashot Khachaturyants when he joined the RPL in the autumn, will now be acting head of the refereeing department. Recall that the current president of the league was also previously the boss of Russian referees.

Ex-referee of the RPL Igor Fedotov in an interview with “KP Sport” has already stated that now the Russian judges are left to themselves.

– There are no pereiras, and the judges do everything they deem necessary. As they can, to be exact. An army without a general. All the experience from the collection flew into the chimney. I will probably advise the department to gather the judges for at least two days and explain to them how to proceed. Because there will be trouble in general, – Fedotov told “KP Sport”.

The collection was indeed held. But no result was given.

Krasnodar Dynamo
“Dynamo” beat “Krasnodar” (1: 0), but without claims to the referees and here did not do. Photo: RPL

  Referee Fedotov explained the mistakes of the judges
Referee Fedotov explained the mistakes of the judges

Judges simply do not know how to work on VAR

In the last 23rd round of the RPL, Krasnodar received an incorrect penalty in their own goal after the fall of Fedor Smolov. What is important is outside the penalty area. Referee Alexei Sukhoi asked for help from a video assistant, and Artem Lyubimov, who was in charge of the VAR in this match, pointed to the point.

Krasnodar lost, and Igor Fedotov said that Russian referees simply do not know how to work for VAR, because they are trying to align “under one comb.”

– All people are different. One takes the episode literally, the other turns his head. Understands that somewhere you can give yellow, somewhere you do not need to do it. I don’t know what’s going on there (in the judging department – approx. KP Sport), but it feels like they are trying to build under one comb, and this should not be the case. Each judge must have his own approach and explanation without any other situations. And the management is trying to convince them that they should do the same. They will not do the same, different situations occur on the football field, – said Igor Fedotov.

The head of the RFU judiciary, Vitor Pereira, left for Portugal and left his post there. Photo: RFU

Why RFU is wrong with the new head of judges
Why RFU is wrong with the new head of judges

Arbitrators are afraid to take responsibility

Surprisingly, video assistants, who have to resolve controversial situations, create them on the contrary. Alexander Mostovoy, a former football player of Spartak, Celta, the national team of the USSR and Russia, is convinced that VAR will continue to throw reasons for disagreements, because people are still sitting behind the monitors.

– As soon as VAR appeared, I was one of the first to say: “There will still be a human factor. We are all living people, there are no perfect people. ” Do not forget that in addition to VAR, there are other judges’ interpretations, which for some reason are always interpreted differently. Another thing, the three people behind the monitors have to take responsibility. But it’s hard for them to do that. There, 95% did not play football, they can not understand many things. You need to feel the moment. Does this VAR cool down the judges? Yes, there are a lot of controversial points. VAR does not help, but creates additional intrigue. Now the responsibility goes away from the judge. But it’s not the computer that decides, but three monitors and a referee on the field. Therefore, we see that out of 10 cases, 5 are correct and 5 are incorrect, ”Mostova told KP Sport.

In the 2021/22 season, RPL plays such a spectacular ball. Photo: RPL

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Leaders change, and confusion remains

The problem with VAR is not the only one. Judges simply do not know who their immediate superior is. Leaders change with enviable frequency, the same interpretations of episodes – too. Hence the inconsistency when polarly different decisions are made in two similar episodes.

– Judges often change their leaders. We need a person who would head the judging department and work in it for a while to convey the ideas he has. Now the meeting was held with one head, entered the season, and he was fired, – shared his opinion FIFA referee Alexei Nikolaev.

It is obvious that Russian judges lack a firm hand. If there is stability in the judiciary, the decisions will be consistent.

Apparently, at least until the end of the season, the referees remain without a permanent helmsman. The future of judging in Russia will depend on the choice of a new candidate.


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