″Sometimes it’s not just the skill that counts″

The absence of Portuguese referees is a reason for “sadness” for APAF.

The president of the Portuguese Association of Football Referees (APAF) said this Thursday that the absence of Portuguese referees at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is cause for “sadness”, because the Portuguese are “also competent”. than the selected ones.

“I look at national refereeing with sadness, of course. I think our referees are as competent as those who have been appointed, but unfortunately sometimes it’s not just competence that counts. You also have to think about what ‘we can improve and do differently, so that in the next World Cups, European, we will be there, as in the recent European Championship and the last Olympic Games”, explained Luciano Gonçalves, in statements to Lusa.

According to the official, the moment requires “reflecting and seeing why these things happen, if meritocracy works”, recalling that Artur Soares Dias would be “at the top of a ranking of Elite 1 referees”, but also the “historic moment”. “, whistled Sandra Bastos.

The Portuguese refereed the match between Barcelona and Wolfsburg, in the semi-final of the Women’s Champions League, with 91,648 spectators in the stands of the Camp Nou. “We find ourselves thinking. We had Artur Soares Dias in the last Europa League semi-final, he is not, we had Sandra Bastos in a semi-final with 90,000 people, a historic match , and he’s not there either,” he criticizes.

For Luciano Gonçalves, the country must “continue to work and make the name of Portugal respected not only among players, coaches, the national team, but also to remind abroad that the refereeing is also very good”.

The FIFA World Cup will, for the first time, have three main referees among the 36 chosen from the six football confederations, in a list which again has no Portuguese referees, FIFA reported today.

In video arbitration (VAR) there will be 24 referees and here too without any Portuguese.

The last Portuguese representation was with Pedro Proença, with the current Football League president named for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, after Olegário Benquerença was in South Africa in 2010.

Previously, in the Japan/South Korea World Cup (2002) and in France (1998), Vítor Pereira was present, and in Italy in 1990 and in Mexico in 1986 the Portuguese referee had Carlos Valente, after António Garrido. having been in Argentina’1978 and Spain’1982.

A “timeline” that includes referee Saldanha Ribeiro in Mexico in 1970 and Joaquim Campos in England in 1966 and Sweden in 1958, while Vieira da Costa was the first in the world championships, in the tournament held in Switzerland, in 1954.

This year’s World Cup in Qatar will take place from November 21 to December 18, with Portugal in Group H, along with South Korea, Ghana and Uruguay.

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