English Blunder And German Excellence In Two Finals Miles Apart

Two decisions showed the class of officiating in England and Germany. English referees have blundered on numerous occasions in big games. The Germans have fared far better comparably.

English Blunder And German Excellence In Two Finals Miles Apart-News Time Now
Olympiastadion in Berlin

The driving distance between  London and Berlin is about 1093.41 km. The DFB-Pokal or the German Cup final was held at the Olympiastadion in Berlin and the English FA Cup at the Wembley Stadium in London on the same day, Saturday, May 27.

By some strange coincidence, there was virtually an action-replay of a soccer movement in both games which led to the first goal being scored in either final.

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The decision to allow Borussia Dortmund’s goal by Ousmane Dembele against Eintracht Frankfurt was absolutely correct. But the decision to permit Alexis Sanchez’s strike for Arsenal against Chelsea was totally wrong and shocking.

English Blunder And German Excellence In Two Finals Miles Apart-News Time Now
Ousmane Dembele celebrates after scoring Borussia Dortmund’s winner against Bayern Munich

It was Marcus Res who scooped the ball into the Frankfurt box for Kagawa who was palpably offside. The Japanese midfielder did not move an inch and did not interfere with play even as Dembele rushed from behind to tuck it in. German Referee Deniz Aytekin and his assistant Christian Dietz, who rightly did not raise the flag, were spot on with their decision to allow the goal to stand. Dortmund eventually won 2-1.

But English Referee Anthony Taylor and his assistant Gary Beswick made a hash of the very same situation and blundered badly.

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Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez latched onto a loose ball and lobbed it into the box. Ramsey, who was offside by yards, rushed forward and stopped after taking a couple of steps. His intention was clearly to interfere with play while in an offside position. Sanchez continued with his run and placed the ball in past Chelsea goalkeeper Courtois with the entire defense waiting for the offside flag.

English Blunder And German Excellence In Two Finals Miles Apart-News Time Now
Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez

Beswick did raise the flag. Taylor went over, consulted him and yet pointed to the centre awarding a goal. Ramsey had clearly taken advantage of being in an offside position. Had he, like Kagawa, not moved at all, it would have been a genuine goal. But that wasn’t the case. He stepped back and then went ahead, all when he was clearly offside. Chelsea were done-in as early as the 4th minute and though they recovered and fought, they lost 1-2 as Arsenal lifted the FA Cup, the World’s oldest competition now 146 years old, riding on that controversial goal which gave them a big boost so early in the game.

English Blunder And German Excellence In Two Finals Miles Apart-News Time Now
Arsene Wenger

It also gave beleaguered manager Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal supporters a lot to cheer about. It was Wenger’s record seventh FA Cup success, the most by any manager in 146 years. Wenger has won the trophy in 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2014, 2015 and 2017. This includes the league and cup double thrice.

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The two decisions showed the class of officiating in the two countries. English referees have bungled on numerous occasions in big games. The Germans have fared far better comparably.

It’s time English referees ensured that big games, especially the final of any event, is not marred by poor officiating

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S S Shreekumar

Shreekumar S S is a senior sports journalist radio and television commentator as well. Shreekumar has been in print and broadcast journalism since 1984 having worked in the Times of Deccan, Times of India, (Bangalore and Kolkata editions), Indian Express, Deccan Herald and served as sports editor of the Karnataka edition of The New Indian Express in Bengaluru. Shreekumar has covered all major sporting events having specialized in soccer writing and reporting. Shreekumar has been doing commentary for AIR since 1985 and is the only person in the country to have done even the final of every major soccer championship. He has also done assignments for Doordarshan from time to time. Shreekumar has also been doing commentary for the web on the I-Leagie soccer. He has the distinction of having covered every sport.

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