DERDEPOORT, South Africa – Despite complaints about game-changing mistakes and FIFA’s agreement to revisit how technology can help officials, the head of refereeing for soccer’s governing body says that the World Cup has been a success.
Jose-Marcia Garcia-Aranda said Saturday that an analysis of the first 62 matches showed referees got more than 96 percent of their decisions right.
“It is a big success,” the Spanish official said at a news briefing. “We have to say it is not an opinion (but) facts.”
FIFA acknowledged that referees made errors, though in “only a few” matches.
“We are not hiding our mistakes or the mistakes of the referees on the field of play,” Garcia-Aranda said.
World Cup final referee Howard Webb agreed that mistakes had been made but said they were largely isolated.
“There is no point us sitting here as match officials and saying everything is absolutely perfect,” said the 38-year-old Englishman, who is one of the few professional referees among the 29 FIFA selected for World Cup duty.
“But it’s also right to point out that the vast majority of decisions have been very sound and very correct.”
Referees were widely criticized after a series of mistakes in the first half of the tournament.