Lebanese referees admit agreeing to fix soccer match for sex in Singapore

Gary Low, the lawyer for the three Lebanese referees accused of accepting free sex, left the court yesterday. Photo: AFP

Three Lebanese referees pleaded guilty yesterday to accepting free sex from a gambling-linked global syndicate in return for agreeing to rig a match. A Singaporean district court judge jailed assistant referees Ali Eid, 33, and Abdallah Taleb, 37, for three months.

Tuesday, 11 June, 2013, 4:27am

Champions League final supports argument for weak refereeing

Referee Nicola Rizzoli shows a yellow card to Bayern Munich's Dante but he wimped out of brandishing another yellow later in the game which would have been the end of the Brazilian. Photo: Reuters

Do you prefer your tea or coffee to be strong or weak? Similarly, in soccer, is it reassuring for the refereeing to be strong or weak?

7 Jun 2013 - 11:53am

Making the right call on referees

Referee shows the red card. Photo: AFP

I laughed when a player said: "Ref, you can't make mistakes, you're a professional". The player did not realise that with his one single outburst he had unwittingly made three faulty claims.

24 May 2013 - 4:16am

Protect referees by hitting clubs where it hurts

Mouners carry the casket of Ricardo Portillo along a street. Photo: AP

No one is bigger than the club. This commonly espoused mantra is easy to comprehend yet individuals with massive egos and an overdeveloped sense of grandeur do not get it. They are the ones who take the law into their own hands and as a result people have died.

17 May 2013 - 3:32am

Powder keg matches lead to hot heads on the pitch

Kitchee goalkeeper Wang Zhenpeng. Photo: Felix Wong

As the season comes to a crunch, mental strength is just as important as physical fitness. Kitchee goalkeeper Wang Zhenpeng knows this better than most after he lost his head in last week's critical encounter with table-toppers South China.

19 Apr 2013 - 4:43am

Blunders are part and parcel of the game we love

German referee Wolfgang Stark. Photo: AFP

In three of the four Uefa Champions League quarter-final matches following April Fool's day, there were glaring howlers, which made some wonder if it was not just one huge European joke. Some were appalling mistakes at the hands of match officials, but similarly there were disgraceful mistakes made by players and coaches. However, the blame is squarely crosshaired on match officials.

12 Apr 2013 - 4:19am

Big decisions favour Real, Pique insists

Gerard Pique. Photo: AP

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique claimed Real Madrid tend to get the big decisions from referees after his side were denied a last-minute penalty in their 2-1 defeat by their rivals.

4 Mar 2013 - 3:12am

Humble coin toss will confound fight against football graft

Humble coin toss a match-fixer's dream. Photo: Reuters

How much is a coin toss worth? Can foolishly faking a frivolous flip and flick of a thin metallic disc prove financially tempting? You bet. Five years ago, the going rate was 100,000 yuan (HK$124,000).

1 Mar 2013 - 4:53am

Abuse of soccer officials needs to end

Palace boss Ian Holloway

Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway was clear last week about his intimidatory, insensitive and inappropriate intentions towards match officials. Hostile treatment towards match officials inevitably spreads to all levels where ticking time bombs are effectively being seeded.

22 Feb 2013 - 4:17am

Swansea ball boy's act against Chelsea reflects poor gamesmanship in soccer

Chelsea's Eden Hazard (right) receives a red card from referee Chris Foy for violent conduct during an English League Cup match. Photo: AP

Chelsea's Eden Hazard created his own danger zone for kicking, or appearing to kick, a misbehaving ball boy. Referee Chris Foy did not see the incident, when Swansea were protecting a 2-0 aggregate score against Chelsea during the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at the Liberty Stadium last month. Foy, instead, relied on advice from his assistant referee and correctly sent off the 22-year-old Belgian for violent conduct.

8 Feb 2013 - 3:37am

Pandora's Box to remain ajar without consistency

Referee Mike Dean (1st left) shows Manchester City's Vincent Kompany (1st right) a red card for his tackle of Arsenal's Jack Wilshere (3rd left). Photo: Xinhua

Unforeseen troubles for referees lie ahead because of the FA's decision to rescind Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany's red card for what match referee Mike Dean deemed to be serious foul play. In undermining his interpretation, the FA has opened Pandora's Box.

25 Jan 2013 - 3:13am

Rational Ref: Time to get serious on 'shirty' acts

Manchester City's Eden Dzeko removed his shirt after scoring against Stoke on New Year's Day to reveal "Happy New Year" printed on his undershirt.

When players get 'shirty' with refereeing decisions, they usually stand naked in their protests. But when players are cautioned for going shirtless there are growing threads of suspicion that those, including referees, without a strip of common sense who blindly accept Fifa's rule, have the wool pulled over their eyes.

18 Jan 2013 - 4:27am

'Ref rage' rears its ugly head, again!

When will there be real respect for the Respect campaign? It has been four years since the English FA introduced the campaign to support match officials, which took its cues from Fifa's values in promoting Respect for the Game.

4 Jan 2013 - 1:40am

Roberto Mancini accuses referees of bias against City

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini claims his team are being victimised after Samir Nasri was sent off for a head-butt in the champions' 4-3 win at Norwich.

31 Dec 2012 - 3:08am

United's Alex Ferguson slams Newcastle's Alan Pardew over referee remarks

Alex Ferguson

Alex Ferguson has criticised Newcastle manager Alan Pardew for his claims that the Manchester United manager should have been sent off after a verbal exchange with referee Mike Dean during their clash on Wednesday.

29 Dec 2012 - 3:35am