Soccer Football - World Cup - Group C - France vs Peru - Ekaterinburg Arena, Yekaterinburg, Russia - June 21, 2018   France's Paul Pogba is shown a yellow card by referee Mohammed Abdulla Hassan Mohamed    REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Referee Mohammed Abdulla Hassan Mohamed shows France's Paul Pogba a yellow card. Damir Sagolj / Reuters

Mohammed Abdullah Hassan an authoritative figure as referee for France v Peru


Richard Jolly

There are some professions where no news equates to good news. Refereeing is one of them. With a dozen minutes remaining, Mohammed Abdullah Hassan was unlikely to figure in too many headlines. Then the Emirati official became the latest referee to be saved by technology on his World Cup debut.

He had cautioned Edison Flores, to the bemusement of the Peru midfielder. No wonder. Abdullah had to revoke the yellow card and instead brandish it to Pedro Aquino, the man who had actually fouled France substitute Nabil Fekir. A wrong was swiftly righted.

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Abdullah, who was assisted by his compatriots Mohammed Ahmed Al Hammadi and Hassan Al Mahry, will have to hope it does not count against him when other games are awarded because he otherwise cut an authoritative figure who had no trouble keeping up with the pace of a high-speed match.

There was no doubt he was decisive and correct when cautioning Blaise Matuidi for tugging back Luis Advincula. Paul Pogba, another of four who were booked, looked surprised but had caught Jefferson Farfan with a flailing arm.

Abdullah did not fall for histrionics at either end, courtesy of Kylian Mbappe and Andre Carrillo. His was a display with a lone error. Many of the players made more.

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