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The Problem With World Cup Referees

Joshua Robinson, reporting for the WSJ:

The world’s most popular sporting event uses a more democratic than meritocratic process for choosing referees. While the World Cup’s 32 teams must play their way into the tournament through a grueling two-year qualifying process, FIFA, the sport’s governing body, pulls referees from more than 40 countries out of a sense of fairness to all of its member associations. It is similar to how basketball’s world governing body plucks officials from around the world to work the Olympic tournament.

It’s a contrast from the meritocracy that determines who officiates the postseason for major U.S. sports.

So even if they’re not crooked, they’re in over their heads.

Thursday, 12 June 2014