FIFA have reportedly decided to replace the Colombian assistant referee who controversially took away two legal goals from the Mexican team in their opening round win over Cameroon.
Per The Columbus Dispatch, Humberto Clavijo will not be part of the officiating crew in charge of the Group H match between Russia and the Korea Republic. His replacement will be Ecuador’s Christian Lescano.
Clavijo appeared to be over-eager to prove himself in the fixture between Mexico and Cameroon, much to the despair of Giovanni Dos Santos, who saw his chances of opening his scoring tally in this World Cup denied by two very close decisions, including one goal that clearly should have stood.
Football Vines had a great Vine of the bad decision:
VINE: Dos Santos has his goal wrongly ruled out for offside.
— Football Vines (@FootballVines)
The assistant referee’s poor performance came just one day after the controversial decisions made by Japan’s Yuichi Nishimura during the match between Brazil and Croatia, adding to the perception that this year’s officiating wasn’t up to standards.
Unlike Clavijo, however, the FIFA spoke out in support of Nishimura, saying he had made the right decision, as reported by The Independent’s Jack De Menezes:
The referees know the responsibility at the World Cup is a lot, every decision can change a lot.
In refereeing, we have black and white but we also have cases that can be on the borderline. Yesterday [Thursday], we can discuss; was it enough (contact)? Yes or no?
On the pitch, the referee takes a decision in less than one second. He is concentrated on the gesture and when you see the hands doing something, it’s difficult to arrive at one conclusion.
Clavijo wasn’t as lucky, and it now appears his tournament could effectively be over after just a single match.Fortunately for both FIFA and the Mexican national team, Clavijo’s decision didn’t impact the final result of the match, with Mexico winning 1-0. The team leads Croatia by a single point heading into the final matchday, so goal difference won’t play a part in which team makes it through to the second round.