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Assistant refs will not flag down for tight offside calls

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World Cup assistant referees have been told to keep their flag down for tight offside calls to enable VAR to make the correct decision, says Fifa referees committee chairman Pierluigi Collina.

Russia 2018 will be the first World Cup to use the video assistant referee system.



“If you see some assistant referee not raising the flag it’s not because he’s making mistakes,” said Collina.

“It’s because he’s respected the instruction to keep the flag down.”

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Italian former referee Collina was speaking at the World Cup referees media briefing on Tuesday.

“They were told to keep the flag down when there is a tight offside incident and there could be a very promising attack or a goal-scoring opportunity because if the assistant referee raises the flag then everything is finished,” he said.

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“If the assistant referee keeps the flag down and the play goes on and maybe a goal comes at the end, there is a chance to review the goal using the technology.”

Fifa president Gianni Infantino confirmed in March that VAR would be used in Russia, having been used in Germany and Italy and trialled in in some domestic English cup games last season.

The VAR – a current or former top referee – is in place to check decisions on four sorts of incidents:

  • Goals, including ‘missed’ attacking offences in the build-up

  • Penalties awarded and not awarded, including ‘missed’ attacking offences in the build-up

  • Direct red cards

  • Cases of mistaken identity where the wrong player is shown a red or yellow card

The referee can accept the information relayed through his earpiece by the VAR team, an option usually reserved for objective calls of fact, such as if a player is offside.

For more subjective decisions such as red cards and penalty-area fouls, he can review the footage on a pitchside television monitor before deciding whether to change his initial call.

Replays of incidents reviewed by the VAR will be shown on big screens during the World Cup and the crowd will also be told when a decision is being reviewed and why a decision has been reached.

However, the replays will not be shown inside the ground while the referee is making a decision, only afterwards, so the official is not influenced by the crowd.

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Granqvist Penalty Earns Sweden a sweet return.

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Sweden marked their first appearance in the World Cup for 12 years by beating South Korea thanks to a penalty from captain Andreas Granqvist that was awarded after a video assistant referee (VAR) review.

There was a short delay for Kim Min-woo’s foul on Viktor Claesson to be analysed on video and for the referee to point to the spot before Granqvist sent goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo the wrong way.

Sweden, who join Mexico at the top of Group F on three points, created the better chances in Nizhny Novgorod.

Marcus Berg should have scored midway through the first half but his close range shot was beaten away by Cho, while South Korea did not manage a single shot on target.

In a scrappy game, Cho also saved well from Ola Toivonen’s header following a free-kick.

South Korea, competing in their ninth successive World Cup, were disappointing and the closest they came to scoring was when Koo Ja-cheol headed into the side netting.

The result means Mexico, 1-0 winners over world champions Germany on Sunday, and Sweden have a three-point lead after the first round of matches in Group F.

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Lake Victoria Island in tension as Uganda arrests Kenyan fishermen

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The arrest of 12 Kenyan fishermen by Ugandan security operatives has caused fresh tension in Lake Victoria islands in western Kenya.

In what is seen as retaliation after Kenyan security officials secured the release of their three police officers arrested by Ugandan soldiers last week, fishermen on the Kenyan side of the lake are in fear of a fresh wave of arrests.

Local politicians have reignited the debate on ownership of Migingo Island in Lake Victoria, saying they have been raising these issues yet the government has done nothing about it.

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Barely a week after Ugandan authorities abducted three Kenyan police officers and five fishermen from Nambo Beach in Siaya County, they struck again on Saturday, seizing two boats.

Witnesses say the officers’ guns and phones were taken away before the officers were transferred to Namaingo in eastern Uganda by boat.

Siaya County Administration Police Commandant Patrick Lumumba said the incident involved up to eight soldiers on patrol who arrived in a Kenyan boat.

On Saturday, according to an incident reported at Usenge Police Station by Nambo Beach Management Unit chairman Gabriel Onyango at 4pm, two Kenyan boats – one with an engine and the other without – were confiscated by Ugandan soldiers.

According to Mr Crispin Nyaga, Usenge police boss, the soldiers were three, one in uniform and armed. They seized the boats, arrested six fishermen, and took away hundreds of kilogrammes of fish.

The boat without an engine belongs to a Mr Omollo. On board were fishermen Daniel Oyugi, John Liepa and Daniel Odhiambo.

The other boat is owned by Mr Atepe Okinya, and was being used by fishermen Evans Ochieng, Sadam Onyango and Kevin Otieno.

“The authorities took away about 400kgs of fish but released the fishermen,” said Mr Nyaga.

This time round, the Quick Response Team of the Administration Police of Kenya gave hot pursuit and rescued both fishermen and the boats, he said.

He added that the area needs frequent patrol by Kenyan officers to prevent unnecessary arrests by Ugandan soldiers.

A day earlier, six fishermen from Ringiti Island were arrested and released on Saturday after paying some money. The fishermen were arrested on Friday morning near the island while fishing.

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Harare central hospital investigates burning of five-day-old twins

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A pair of five-day-old twins were burnt to death in an open cradle at Harare Central Hospital.

The hospital says it is still carrying out investigations since last week it happened, but negligence is suspected.

The twins were reportedly placed in an isolation ward as they were recovering from jaundice.

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They were placed in an open cradle and a beam of light was used to provide heating.

However, something malfunctioned and the babies were dehydrated and burnt to death.

Their mother, Belinda Balalika found the babies dead when she went to breastfeed them at midnight.

A source who spoke to The Standard said,“ Something malfunctioned and the babies were burnt to death, but what is saddening is the fact that the staff did not check on the babies on time.’

Harare Central Hospital CEO Nyasha Masuka added, “We will be able to give details on Monday when all the investigations have been completed.”

 

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