It’s undeniable that referee calls heading into the Spain v Germany semi-final had a huge effect. Thomas Muller, Germany’s leading scorer, was given his second yellow card against Argentina. For this:
Definitely one of the weakest yellow cards of the tournament and it denies Germany one its top scorer and fans of seeing one of the most dynamic attacking players in the tournament.
Meanwhile, Pique, a player I think has been one of Spain’s best game in, game out and one of the top defenders in the whole tournament, somehow only gets a yellow for this bit of tug of war with Cardozo’s arm in the Paraguay game.
How are those two offenses possibly judged worthy of the same punishment to the individual? Surely a ref is aware of who is carrying yellows into a game and will be suspended if they pick up another? Surely, this weighs on their decision to card that player?
Spain were the better team today but the game was made poorer by the ‘card ’em all’ doctrine FIFA seem to have drilled into their refs. The advantage was also shifted to Spain through the leniency shown to Pique. It’s a big swing when one team loses it’s top scorer while the other retains it’s starting centre back.